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The senate gave preliminary approval to legislation that's tied to the name change proposal for Southwest Missouri State University but not before a major argument broke out. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.
The bill that won first round senate approval would borrow millions of dollars through the issuance of bond to help fund construction projects at many of the state's colleges and universities.
It contains a provision that its passage is contingent upon passage of the bill that would make change the name of SMS to Missouri State University.
Senate President Pro Temp Peter Kinder brokered a deal with the lead opponent of the name change Democratic Floor Leader Ken Jacob in February.
Under the agreement, the name change would advance after the bond proposal landed on the governor's desk.
Ken Jacob says tried to strip from the bond bill the provision tying it to the name change.
He says he only agreed that he would not filibuster the name change bill after the bond bill went to the governor.
And Jacob says it's bad public policy to link the passage of one bill the passage of another bill.
He says courts have ruled you can't do that.
But Peter Kinder accused Jacob of renigging on the agreement when he tried to amend the bond bill, which would send millions of dollars to the MU system.
Kinder says the name change supporters wanted to ensure the bond bill would only pass if SMS became Missouri State.
Kinder says this was Jacob's attempt to break the agreement and call off the deal.
Jacob says he stands by the deal but only what's in the agreement.
Jacob says it's Kinder who's trying to put new stipulations on the deal they struck.
Kinder and Jacob disagree on another issue.
The senate adopted an amendment from Jacob that raises taxes on businesses by 50 million dollars to help fund the bond proposal.
Kinder says he didn't object to the amendment because he wanted to keep the bill moving.
But Ken Jacob says he had to add the amendment so that there would be a funding source for the bonds.
He accused Kinder of sponsoring the bond bill without a funding source for political gain.
The bill that puts the state in debt for university construction projects faces a final vote in the senate before moving to the House.