Legislative Update 1-16-13

Yesterday at the Capitol

The Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Finance Division met yesterday and took up the confirmation of Minnesota Office of Higher Education Director Larry Pogemiller. After brief remarks by Director Pogemiller, committee members recommended to confirm Pogemiller and sent the confirmation to the Senate floor for a vote.

Prior to hearing from Pogemiller, committee members shared why they asked to be on the committee and shared their thoughts on higher education. Committee Chair Terri Bonoff, DFL-Minnetonka, said she believes the economic growth of Minnesota is linked to higher education. Vice Chair Greg Clausen, DFL-Apple Valley, said as a high school principal he would tell entering freshmen that a high school diploma is not the end of a student’s education. All committee members agreed they have important work ahead of them.

Chair Bonoff said the committee’s guiding principles include; each and every student complete some type of postsecondary degree; tackling the issue of student debt; and addressing the achievement gap.

Committee members also heard from University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler who provided an overview of the University. Kaler told Senators that he realizes there are budget demands on the Legislature and the state, but emphasized the decline in state appropriation over the years for higher education.

President Kaler also addressed the concerns stemming from the recent Wall Street Journal article about high administration costs at the University of Minnesota. Kaler explained the information reported in the article was not accurate and there were discrepancies in the data used. He told committee members that the University has hired a third-party consultant to look at the administration costs, and priority will be given to continuing discussions about the organizational structure at the University.

The committee is expected to hear more from the University of Minnesota on Thursday.

Today at the Capitol
8:15 a.m.

House Education Finance Committee
Room: 10 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Paul Marquart
Agenda: MDE Data Center Presentation
8:15 a.m.

House Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries
Room: Basement State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Sheldon Johnson

Agenda: Overview by the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development
8:30 a.m.

Senate E-12 Division
Room: 112 Capitol

Chair: Sen. Charles W. Wiger
Agenda: Education finance overview presented by Eric Nauman and Bjorn Arneson

10:00 a.m.

House Government Operations Committee will meet:
Room: Basement State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Michael V. Nelson

Overview of statewide pension funds: State Board of Investment, Minnesota State Retirement System, Public Employees Retirement Association, and Teachers Retirement Association
Overview of Saint Paul Teachers Retirement Fund
Overview of Duluth Teachers Retirement Fund
12:00 p.m.

Senate Environment, Economic Development and Agriculture Division
Room: 107 Capitol
Chair: Sen. David Tomassoni

Agenda: Budget Jurisdiction overview
12:30 p.m.

House State Government Finance and Veterans Affairs
Room: 200 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Mary Murphy
Agenda: Continuation of First Day: Begin Building.

  • Philosophy
  • Announcements
  • Expectations
  • Agencies/Accounts
  • Issues, challenges and opportunities facing the committee and its accounts in 2013 and beyond.

Notes: (1) Introductions will be made of leaders/liaisons of each agency/account within the Committee’s jurisdiction. The goal is to have appropriate people at these meetings. (2) Committee members/staff and members of the public are requested to bring a picture (or some other memento) that provides some insight into what is important to you or what you enjoy doing outside of work. The goal of this exercise is to learn more about people in order to build trust.


Looking Ahead

Thursday, January 17

8:15 a.m.

House Capital Investment

Room: 200 State Office Building

Chair: Rep. Alice Hausman

Agenda: Debt service guidelines update and bond cancellation report, MMB


8:15 a.m.

House Education Finance Committee

Room: 10 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Paul Marquart
Agenda: Education Finance presentation by House Research and Fiscal Analysis staff

8:30 a.m
Senate E-12 Division
Room: 112 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Charles Wiger

Agenda: Education Finance Reform Working Group Recommendations. Dr. Tom Melcher, MDE

10:00 a.m.

House Education Policy

Room: Basement State Office Building

Chair: Rep. Carlos Mariani

Agenda: K-12 to Post-Secondary Transitions: Irondale High School Early College presentation; MDE Commissioner Cassellius; MOHE Director Pogemiller; MnSCU Chancellor Rosenstone

11:00 a.m.
Senate in Session

12:00 p.m.

Senate Education
Room: 112 Capitol

Chair: Sen. Patricia Torres Ray

Agenda: TBA

3:00 p.m.

House in Session
3:00 p.m.

Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development
Room: 123 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Terri Bonoff

Agenda: University of Minnesota – Presentation by President Eric Kaler – Question and answer session with committee members
3:00 p.m.

Senate State Departments and Veterans Division
Room: 107 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Tom Saxhaug
Agenda: Minnesota Management and Budget Department Overview
Revenue Department Overview

Thank you.

Melissa Fahning, Director of Legislative Communication
(651) 201-1757
(612) 483-3741 cell

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