University of Missouri to close Washington lobbying office

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) _ The University of Missouri plans to close its Washington-based lobbying office by the end of the summer, costing two staff members their jobs.

The cuts are part of the university’s system-wide budget reductions announced Friday by president Mun Choi.

Federal disclosure reports show the university system spent $320,000 in 2016 on the Washington lobbying operation.

University spokesman Christian Basi says the university also plans changes to its Jefferson City lobbying office. The Joplin Globe reports (http://sgfnow.co/2rW5i58 ) Basi couldn’t say whether that office would be closed or would reduce staff.

The university will keep its contract with Andy Blunt, the son of U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt. Andy Blunt earns $10,000 a month under a contract signed in 2015. Basi says the university can’t cancel the contract because it is legally binding.