Jefferson City — State Representative Allen Icet, chairman of the House Budget Committee, has introduced the House's proposed state budget for higher education for 2010.

House Bill 3 calls for core cuts of 5 percent from the Bright Flight, Marguerite Ross Barnett, and Access Missouri scholarship programs. If passed, the cuts would reduce Bright Flight scholarship amounts by about $150 per student and reduce the number of Marguerite Ross Barnett scholarship recipients by 10. The total amount available for Access Missouri scholarships would be reduced from $95.3 million to $91.9 million.
House Bill 3 would also reduce general revenue going to public colleges and universities back to 2006 core amounts then use federal economic stabilization money to restore funds up to 2009 levels.

In January, Gov. Nixon announced his support for keeping higher education institution appropriations at 2009 levels in return for not raising tuition. House Bill 3 aligns with Nixon's proposal in this regard, but differs from it in other ways.

It does not call for expanding the A+ scholarship program into Nixon's proposed Missouri Promise, which would extend a student's A+ scholarship to a third and fourth year of college if the student maintains a 3.0 grade point average. It also does not include funds for Caring for Missourians, an initiative to spend $39.8 million to educate more than 900 new graduates in health care fields.

House Bill 3 proposes reducing appropriations by 10 percent to programs included in the higher education budget, such as MOREnet, UM Hospitals and Clinics, the Missouri Rehabilitation Center, the State Historical Society and others.

As introduced, the total appropriation for higher education would be $918,251,762.

The House Budget Committee is expected to begin their mark-up process and consider amendments in committee sometime next week. The bill will then move to the House floor before going to the Senate.