JEFFERSON CITY - The effort to let the University of Missouri's student curator sit in on closed board meetings moved a step in the legislative process -- but just barely.
The Senate Education Committee on Monday passed a bill, by a 6-5 vote, that would allow student representatives at the University of Missouri, all state colleges and universities and Lincoln University to attend closed sessions of their schools' governing boards.
The bill was introduced by Sen. Ken Jacob, D-Columbia, a member of the committee. Currently the student representatives may neither attend closed sessions, nor vote on any issues before the boards.
A similar bill was introduced in the House by Rep. Ted Farnen, D-Mexico. The House Higher Education Committee heard testimony on that bill last week. That bill also would create a faculty curator position.
Farnen, who serves as the committee's chairman, said he expects the committee to vote on his bill next Wednesday.
He was optimistic about the bill's chances.
"I don't want to predict what will happen, but the fact that it passed last year is a good sign," Farnen said. The House passed Farnen's bill last year, but it died after it was referred to the Senate Education Committee, which took no action on it.