A $2 million earmark for a university in Cape Girardeau included in Missouri’s $24 billion budget has effectively derailed the state Senate.
House Speaker Steven Tilley, a Perryville Republican, (right)wants the money added to the budget of Southeast Missouri State University. He points out that the school has the second lowest funding-to-student ratio among state universities and argues that he’s simply trying to fix the inequity.
But Sen. Jason Crowell, a Cape Girardeau Republican, has demanded the funding be removed.
Southeast Missouri State shouldn’t be the only public university that gets an increase in funding during a difficult budget year, Crowell said. And until the issue is resolved, he said he will block votes on every other bill for the remaining week and a half of the legislative session. That includes the state budget, which must be passed and sent to Gov. Jay Nixon by Friday.
“I know how to tie up the floor, and I’ll do it,” Crowell said.
He accused Tilley of only pushing for the funding because he’ll be a lobbyist for the university when his legislative career ends this year.
Tilley called Crowell’s accusations a lie. Both lawmakers are alums of Southeast Missouri State.