Touch Base Tuesday 3.12.19

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Dear Faculty and Staff:

I am excited to share some good news from the Legislative Session.  Last week we learned that the House Budget Committee added $1.5 M for SCC into the MoExcels budget.  This is due to the wonderful support we have received from our local representatives, specifically Representative John Wiemann.

Legislative Session

Last week I participated in an MCCA meeting with all the community college presidents and chancellors.  Here is a summary of some of the bills we are tracking:

SB 17 (PSRS bill) – This bill restores previous language related to retired faculty who teach at a community college. The bill has moved quickly through the House and Senate and is expected to be signed by the Governor within the next week.

HB 575, SB 121, and HB 258 all relate to guns on campus. HB 575 authorizes colleges and universities to designate faculty or staff members as campus protection officers.  It is unknown at this time whether any of these bills will move forward.

SB 259

This proposed legislation introduces new provisions relating to rights of accused college students in Title IX proceedings and implements new procedures related to due process for Title IX complaints at institutions of higher education.  MCCA President, Brian Millner, is working with key legislators on much needed modifications. 

Budget:

The State Budget Director announced recently that the net general revenue collections for 2019 fiscal year-to-date decreased 5 percent compared to February 2018, from $5.97 billion last year to $5.67 billion this year. We still do not anticipate any reductions to the FY 19 budget for higher education. 

Governor’s Visit

Last Friday Governor Parson was at St. Charles Community College to announce the new proposed Fast Track Program.  This program will provide financial assistance to adults who are pursuing industry-recognized credentials in “high need” areas. This is part of Missouri’s “Big Goal for Higher Education” to have 60 percent of working-age adults obtain a certificate or degree by 2025. The invitation-only event featured presentations by Zora Mulligan, Commissioner for Higher Education; Rob Dixon, Director for the Missouri Department of Economic Development; and Representative Swan and Senator Romine – sponsors of Fast Track legislation.

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Warren County

We are making good progress with the Warren County initiative.  I have been participating in a number of presentations that highlight the benefits of higher education and how St. Charles Community College could meet the future needs of Warren County. On March 7, I presented to the Rotary Club; on March 11, I was at the Farm Bureau meeting, and this afternoon, I will be attending the Chamber meeting. Thanks to everyone who has helped move forward this initiative.

Last Friday our Employee Sponsored Program (ESP) facilitated a Trivia Night.  The organization raised more than $6,000 to benefit our students and our college.  Thanks to Betsy, Peggy, and the members of ESP for coordinating a successful event.

Best wishes for a wonderful week. 

Barbara

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