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Holden Wary of UM Bonding Bill Changes

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Missouri Gov. Bob Holden (UPI photo by Bill Greenblatt)

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Missouri Governor Bob Holden says he's wary of a Senate proposal to expand a college campus building program.

The University of Missouri wants to borrow $190 million (by selling bonds) to build new life sciences and engineering buildings on its four campuses.

But when the plan reached a Senate committee this week, some members wanted to expand the plan to let more universities sell bonds to build on their campuses, regardless of whether the construction would be life sciences-related.

Holden says he's concerned about deepening the tax burden.

"If they've got a revenue package to fund it, then that's a different story," Holden said Thursday in St. Louis. "But they can't rob Peter to pay Paul. I'm not interested in increasing the state's debt on the taxpayers."

The UM bond plan is also a plan that might mean a change in Southwest Missouri State University's name. As part of a deal to end a recent Senate filibuster, Senate President Pro Tem Peter Kinder agreed to hold the SMS name change legislation until the UM bond measure was on the governor's desk.

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