JEFFERSON CITY - A House appropriations committee Wednesday took Gov. Mel Carnahan's funding recommendation for the University of Missouri and added another $2.5 million to it during the first of the seven-step budget process.
"This was a good day for the University of Missouri system," said Jim Snider, lobbyist for U.M. "This is a very positive first step in what was already a very generous budget for the university."
In the state budget he proposed to the legislature three weeks ago, Carnahan asked lawmakers to approve an 8.5 percent increase for the four-campus system. Committee members raised that increase to 9.2 percent.
The move came as one committee member asked for funding to help with special moving costs for a library at Central Missouri State University. Other members raised the concern that campuses in their districts also had moving and moving costs.
Rep. Tim Harlan, D-Columbia, said he was pleased the committee recognized the extra costs U.M., and other colleges and universities, incur when new facilities are built.
Harlan and Rep. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia, are the two local legislators who serve on the House Appropriations-Education and Public Safety Committee, the first committee that formally reviews the governor's proposed education budget.
Graham said he was particularly pleased that the budget included $2.5 million to complete the Townsend Hall renovation.
"Dean Andrews was a good soldier and waited many years to get this project completed," Graham said.
The budget passed by the committee also included $6 million for the new Business and Public Administration Building on the Columbia campus.
The committee's total funding in the bill for the U.M. system was $397.9 million. The bill next goes to the House Budget Committee.