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MOHELA Board Makes No Mention of Governor's Plan at Meeting

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/mohelaboar_1368.mp3

The board of Missouri's college loan authority is plotting its next move now that lawmakers have rejected a plan to sell student loan assets to pay for campus construction projects. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

**This story is produced using some copy from the Associated Press Wire Service**

The seven-member Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority today (Wednesday) unanimously approved a 200 million dollar increase in its line of credit through Bank of America. That brings its total borrowing line to a billion dollars.

But the 30-minute meeting was just as notable for what WASN'T said.

There was no mention of the legislature's failure to approve what Republican Governor Matt Blunt has dubbed the Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative. That's a proposed infusion of 478 million dollars for campus construction projects. Missouri State University would receive about 30 million dollars for renovation projects and 5 to 7 million dollars for the Jordan Valley Innovation Center.

Blunt has said the proposed sale of MOHELA and the transfer of funds to universities can move forward without the legislature's approval of the deal or approval of a spending plan.

When asked earlier this week about a time line for his plan, Blunt didn't give any specifics but did say he doesn't want to rush the MOHELA Board.

A letter from the MOHELA Board released earlier this year indicated the board had received outside legal advice that it needs statutory authority to move forward with the sale of assets and the transfer of money to universities.

Blunt has said he doesn't believe changes to the law are necessary for his plan to proceed.