The Maneater

Biggest frustration: Missouri Legislature

From dubiously motivated witch hunts to politically influenced legislation, Missouri lawmakers frustrated us.

Ronald Reagan once said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.”

Through their frustrating actions over the past year, the Missouri legislature has more than proven Reagan’s famous words true.

In August, former Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin was called to testify before the Senate by Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, about the relationship between University Hospital and Planned Parenthood. All this, despite the Missouri Attorney General’s Office later finding no evidence of wrongdoing.

Schaefer was back at it again in January, when an email from former UM System President Tim Wolfe surfaced where he claimed Schaefer pressured him to deny then-MU associate law professor Josh Hawley’s request for a leave of absence to run for Attorney General. In a revelation that surprised absolutely nobody, Schaefer also happens to be running for that position.

That’s before getting to the “piece de resistance” of the entire affair — Missouri lawmakers response to the Concerned Student 1950 protests against racial discrimination, and former assistant communication professor Melissa Click’s call for “muscle” making national headlines.

In March, the House Budget Committee became the latest to jump on the “let’s screw over MU” bandwagon, passing a budget slashing $1 million in funds for MU. The budgetary hearing produced gems such as an amendment by Rep. Rocky Miller, R-Lake Ozark, reducing state funding for MU from $169,305,944 to $1 (not a typo). The amendment was later withdrawn, not because Miller thought it wouldn’t pass, but because he was afraid it would. I would write a joke about this, but nothing I think of could possibly match the absurdity of this piece of political theater.

The Senate later came to its senses and restored the cuts, but retained a $1 million decrease to administration to make sure the university knew who the real boss around these parts is. The final draft cut the UM System’s budget by $3.8 million.

From dubiously motivated witch hunts to politically influenced legislation, the actions of the Missouri legislature over the past year rightfully earns these legislators the title of Biggest Frustration.

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