May 22, 2007
Jefferson City, Mo. — Attorney General Jay Nixon is urging Gov. Blunt to veto a bill that Nixon says would seriously damage the ability of Missouri families to access low-cost student loans for higher education. In a letter sent to the Governor today, Nixon said with higher costs putting more of a strain on family budgets than ever before and with fewer Missouri children enrolled in undergraduate programs than a generation ago, Senate Bill 389 “misses an important opportunity to offer intelligent, workable solutions for these problems, and it will put a greater strain on Missouri’s families than ever before.”
For more than a year, Nixon and others concerned about the impact that the raid on MOHELA’s assets will have on the accessibility and affordability of higher education in Missouri have been calling on the Governor, the General Assembly or MOHELA itself to obtain an independent financial review of the plan. Nixon said such an analysis has become more essential than ever now that investigations into the student loan market by his office and others have shown improper relationships between certain lenders and certain higher education institutions. Despite this, no such financial analysis has ever been performed, Nixon said.
“The only thing certain to happen if you sign Senate Bill 389 is that hundreds of millions of dollars that should have been used to provide low-cost access to higher education for qualified Missouri students will be taken from MOHELA forever,” Nixon wrote.
“By signing Senate Bill 389, you will be taking our state in the wrong direction,” Nixon said. “I urge you to veto this bill, and to work to provide our higher education institutions with the needed funds for deferred maintenance from sources other than our students and their parents.”