I started covering the Lewis and Clark Initiative last semester when Sen. Charlie Shields visited Western and unveiled Gov. Matt Bluntâ€™s proposal.
Since then, I have been waiting and following the twists and turns of the legislative process. In May when no vote was decided, I still waited patiently for Blunt to convince the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA) to sell itâ€™s assets without legislative approval.
Now, even after the MOHELA board voted yes 4-2, I must still wait, possibly over a year, to see the capital improvement checks dispersed.
I have loans through MOHELA and I will admit, when the proposal first came about I was worried about the impact it would have on my student loans. Everyone was worried that the interest rates would rise because of this.
I donâ€™t take this into consideration any more because as we all learned this summer when our mailboxes were bombarded with messages reminding us to consolidate our loans, regardless of the proposalâ€™s passage, interest rates rose anyway.
So once again, it is up to the legislature to determine if MOHELA should sell its assets to be used towards the Lewis and Clark Initiative that would grant $30 million to Western to beef up Agenstien Hall and over $300 million to colleges and universities across the state.
I have done all I can, including sending e-mails to Attorney General Jay Nixon in
support of the Initiative as Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder asked us to do.
Now it is in the hands of the state government.
In January, the session will convene and address the Initiative again, but my guess is it will be another May before anything is settled.
Until then, I will follow whatever twists are implemented into the controversial proposal and hope that everything will come out good in the end.