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SMS Name Change Gets Boost

A deal appears to be in the works between supporters and opponents of the name change legislation for Southwest Missouri State University. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

THE MAN WHO HAS BEEN CREDITED WITH SINGLE-HANDEDLY KILLING LEGISLATION THAT WOULD DROP THE REGIONAL DESIGNATION FROM THE NAME SOUTHWEST MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY SOUNDED READY TO STRIKE A DEAL WITH BILL SUPPORTERS. AT A PUBLIC HEARING ON THE BILL, COLUMBIA SENATOR KEN JACOB HAD THIS TO SAY TO BILL SUPPORTERS. He says, "That doesn't mean I like this. I think it's a big mistake. I've had my you-know-what kicked before and I've won sometimes before and sometimes the writing is on the wall." AT THE PUBLIC HEARING, JACOB OFFERED THE SPONSOR OF THE NAME CHANGE BILL, PETER KINDER A DEAL. JACOB POINTED OUT THAT MAYBE HE AND PETER KINDER COULD WORK TOGETHER SINCE HE, JACOB IS INTERESTED IN A $190 MILLION BOND PROPOSAL FOR CAPITOL IMPROVEMENTS RELATED TO LIFE SCIENCES FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI SYSTEM. DURING THE HEARING, JACOB PROPOSED PUTTING THE NAME CHANGE AND THE BOND PROPOSAL IN THE SAME BILL. AS PROMISING AS THAT MAY SOUND FOR SUPPORTERS OF THE NAME CHANGE BILL, JACOB WAS QUICK TO POINT OUT THAT HE STILL THINKS THE NAME CHANGE IS BAD PUBLIC POLICY. AS SUPPORTERS OF THE NAME CHANGE BILL SPOKE TO THE SENATE COMMITTEE, JACOB BROUGHT UP SEVERAL OF THE ISSUES HE'S RAISED IN PREVIOUS YEARS. HE ASKED WHY S-M-S SHOULDN'T JUST JOIN THE M-U SYSTEM. HE ALSO ASKED WHY OTHER REGIONAL UNIVERSITIES DON'T DESERVE TO BE MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY. IN FACT, LOBBYISTS REPRESENTING THE INTERESTS OF CENTRAL MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY SPOKE IN OPPOSITION TO THE NAME CHANGE BILL. BUT THAT DIDN'T SEEM TO DETER THE S-M-S NAME CHANGE SUPPORTERS. JIM ANDERSON, THE DIRECTOR OF THE SPRINGFIELD AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, TOLD THE SENATE COMMITTEE THAT THE NAME CHANGE BILL WAS ABOUT ONE THING: IMPROVING THE LOCAL ECONOMY. THE BILL MUST NOW GAIN COMMITTEE APPROVAL BEFORE IT CAN HEAD TO THE SENATE FLOOR FOR CONSIDERATION. FROM THE STATE CAPITOL, I'M MISSY SHELTON FOR K-S-M-U NEWS.