February 8, 2006
Jefferson City, Mo. — Public hearings on the proposed sale and transfer of assets by the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MoHELA) will inject a degree of openness into the process that has been sorely needed, Attorney General Jay Nixon says.
The first of the hearings on the proposed sale of $2.4 billion in MoHELA assets and the subsequent proposed transfer of those sale proceeds to state government will be held tomorrow from 2:30-4 p.m. and from 7-9 p.m. at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park.
"We are certainly pleased that high-ranking MoHELA board members have agreed to take part in the first of our hearings tomorrow in St. Louis," Nixon said. "Now, we can begin to get answers to the critical questions of this proposed sale, such as how the proceeds will be used and how it will further the mission of MoHELA. Up until now, the public has been largely shut out from the details of the proposed sale, which only raises more questions. Tomorrow, we start getting answers."
Tomorrow’s hearings will include MoHELA board chair Dr. Karen Luebbert testifying during the afternoon session about the proposed sale. During the evening session, MoHELA executive director Raymond Bayer Jr. will testify about MoHELA’s history, mission and operations. The hearings will take place in the student center at St. Louis Community College.
"Public hearings are essential to public understanding of the sale of non-profit assets," Nixon added. "Such a review develops a public record of the proposed sale, while ensuring that any sale would be as a result of a fair and open process, that a fair price was received for the assets and that sale proceeds would be used appropriately."
Details on other statewide hearings are still being worked out and will be announced in the next few weeks. When additional dates and locations are announced, Nixon said his office also will provide information on how the public will be able to provide its input.