Bill Ritter came to campus Monday to sign into law two bills that will
have a direct impact on Metro State and its students.
Surrounded by legislators, higher education leaders and students,
Gov. Ritter signed Senate Bills 133 and 233 at the construction site
for the new Science Building.
SB 233 was sponsored by Sens. Sue Windels and Suzanne Williams and
Reps. Jim Riesberg and Don Marostica. With broad bipartisan support in
the legislature, the bill allows the state to issue Certificates of
Participation (COPs) as a funding mechanism for higher ed construction
projects around Colorado. The money to pay back the COPs will come from
SB 218, which uses the increasing amount of money the state receives
from mineral leases on federal lands to create a permanent fund for
higher education projects. Ritter is expected to sign SB218 within the
next couple of weeks.
“Higher education is about hope and promise and opportunity,” Gov.
Ritter said. “That’s why we are here today. This hole in the ground is
going to be filled with a world-class building that will provide
opportunities for thousands of students so they can achieve their full
“This hole is a metaphor as well. When our state fell into a
recession in the early part of this decade, progress was put on
hold.Budgets were cut and building projects were cancelled. To be sure,
there is still much work to do, but we are making real progress. We’re
getting higher education back on track. We are climbing out of the
(To read the history of “the hole in the ground,” go to http://www.mscd.edu/~collcom/artman/publish/science_twv5032608.shtml.)
Stephen Jordan said, "When it became evident that this building, which
had originally planned to be financed over three years, could not be
funded at all before its completion, (the governor and lawmakers) chose
to look at this as a problem to be solved for all of higher education,
not just for this building," he said. "(They) constructed a series of
bills and resolutions which combined will affect $200 million in
immediate construction for higher education throughout the state as
well as create a legacy of funding for higher education long into our
"This building, in particular, will allow this campus
to continue to serve more students of color in the sciences and
science-based studies than any other campus in the state of Colorado at
the very time when our demographics are shifting dramatically," he
In addition to the Science Building, eleven projects at other institutions are slated to receive COP funding this year.
Scholarships for teachers in high-demand subjects
Ritter also signed Senate Bill 133, sponsored by Sen. Brandon Shaffer
and Rep. Andy Kerr, which establishes a scholarship program for
teachers in high-demand subjects.
“Teach for Colorado Scholarships” will help teacher licensure
candidates pay for tuition, fees and books necessary to complete a
bachelor's degree in high-demand teaching areas.
“Scholarships for student-teachers are an effective way to address
teacher shortages in high-demand areas such as math, science, special
education and English Language acquisition,” Gov. Ritter said.
Sen. Shaffer said that the bill removes barriers for prospective
educators by offering incentives to complete their teaching degrees.
“This is a win for students, for teachers and for the future of
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