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Blunt confident legislature will OK student loan sale

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(UPI file photo)
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Gov. Matt Blunt

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – Governor Matt Blunt says it's not legally necessary for the legislature to sign off on his plan to sell $350 million in student loan assets to fund campus construction projects.

But the Republican said Tuesday he still wants lawmakers to take up the issue next year.

Earlier this month board members of the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority delayed a vote on the sale. That was after a staffer for Democratic Attorney General Jay Nixon told them they could be individually sued if they pass the plan.

The Governor said the measure does not technically need legislative approval, but it would protect the MOHELA board members from lawsuits. Blunt said he's confident he'll get that approval.

"There's been very little resistance from anybody except the attorney general," Blunt said. "If you look across the board, there's been a pretty significant number of groups that have come forward to embrace what we're doing."

In May, a bill to sell all MOHELA's assets failed in the Legislature.

Attorney General Nixon is a likely opponent of Blunt in the 2008 governor's race.

The MOHELA board is scheduled to vote on the loan sale Wednesday in St. Louis.

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