The 2007 sale of MOHELA (the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority) was supposed to finance 31 capital improvement projects at colleges and universities around the state.
But there’s only about $120 million in MOHELA’s bank account, and Gov. Jay Nixon recently suspended funds for those projects (including MU’s Ellis Fischel Cancer Center).
Now, Democratic Sen. Victor Callahan would like to use that money to fund only the projects that began before Jan. 1. The rest of the money would go toward a tuition reduction fund.
“Bottom line is, one way or another, what I think this legislature needs to understand is (that) higher education is getting beyond the grasp of the middle class,” Callahan said. “We have to make it affordable, and we have to take very affirmative steps, like a freeze in tuition rates, but also reducing tuition and making college affordable.”
But Nixon’s budget director, Linda Luebbering, said whatever money is left needs to be evaluated to “make sure that whatever (Callahan) is proposing is consistent with the amount of money that’s actually available.”