Letter to the Editor

Ready to move ahead on funding

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

To the editor:

I am writing in response to a recent article regarding a resolution passed by the Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents. The resolution declared that the board would not "authorize the issuance of bonds" for construction projects if repayment by the state "hasn't been granted" or if the legislature hasn't "passed a measure in support of the project." The resolution affirms the requirements of Senate Bill 718.

I want to congratulate the board and express my appreciation for taking this responsible step. The board, university president Ken Dobbins and I disagreed about the mechanism the board had used to fund the River Campus project. Resolving that issue took some time. However, I'm grateful that we were able to find a solution -- one that kept the River Campus on track and set responsible fiscal policy.

I am also aware that the board approved some changes regarding a convocation center that will be a part of the River Campus and will cost approximately $1.6 million. As I get ready to send my daughter to Southeast, I know the River Campus is a great investment and the costs going into it will pay dividends for years to come.

I will continue to work with the governor and the legislature to secure funding for the River Campus. By following the guidelines in SB 718 and the board's resolution, we can move ahead with worthwhile projects in a responsible way.

ROD JETTON, Speaker, Missouri House of Representatives, Jefferson City, Mo.