Legislative Update 4-16-13

Yesterday at the Capitol

The higher education omnibus bill moved in both the House and Senate yesterday. The Senate Finance committee took up the bill, and approved an amendment that readjusts the tails for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities going into the 2016-2017 biennium. Author of the bill Sen. Terri Bonoff, DFL-Minnetonka, explained to members that she didn’t realize MnSCU’s leveraged equipment request that the Senate bill funds at $9 million in fiscal year 2014 and $10 million in fiscal year 2015, was intended to be an ongoing expense; however, she said she has since learned of the ongoing need for equipment at the colleges and universities and fixed the tails so the funding is in the base going forward. The next stop for the bill is the Senate floor.

Over in the House, the Higher Education Finance and Policy committee took up the House version of the higher education omnibus bill and after brief discussion, passed the bill and sent it to Ways and Means, where it is scheduled to be taken up on Thursday. Vice Chancellor for Finance Laura King told committee members that MnSCU appreciates the committee’s careful and extensive budget review of the system’s budget, as well as the positive targets for re-investment in higher education. King told members that it’s been a long time since higher education has seen an increase in state support.

King told members however that MnSCU has concerns about the language in the bill that requires the system to make up for any insufficient state appropriations in order to meet labor contract obligations, through reductions in administrative costs. “Our colleges and universities would face serious budget cuts should this proposal be enacted,” King said. The bill funds $78 million for tuition relief; however, with compensation increases, there is a gap of at least $17 million in the system’s overall financial plan, King told the committee. “It’s simply not possible for us to balance our budget on the faculty compensation increases for 54 percent of our employees on the portion of our budget that represents just slightly more than 10 percent of our total spending,” King said.

Vice Chancellor King reminded committee members that the budget proposal put forward by the Board of Trustees addresses affordability and innovation with a shared strategy. “We continue to recommend the approach presented by our Board,” King said.

Since the bills take different approaches on funding higher education, a conference committee will be formed to work through those differences once the bills are off the floor.

Today at the Capitol

Department of Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius and Office of Higher Education Director Larry Pogemiller will be in Morris today to discuss Gov. Dayton’s proposed investments in K-12 and higher education.

This evening Gov. Dayton will hold a “Meeting with Mark” in the Commons Area of Mesabi Range Community and Technical College.

8:30 a.m.
Senate Finance
Room: 123 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Richard Cohen
Agenda: S.F. 453-Wiger: Omnibus pre-kindergarten through grade 12 education provisions modifications and appropriations.
SF453 (PDF)

9:00 a.m.
House Taxes
Room: 10 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Ann Lenczewski

Agenda: HF630 (Marquart) Omnibus Education Finance and Policy Bill (Contingent upon referral from the Education Finance Committee)

10:00 a.m.
House Ways and Means

Room: 5 State Office Building

Chair: Rep. Lyndon Carlson

Agenda: Omnibus Capital Investment Bill (HF270)

270A11 Amendment
HF1416 (Erhardt) Transportation related provisions amended including logo sign program, trunk highway routes, state-aid systems, motor vehicle registration, license plates, vehicle dealers, pupil transportation, traffic regulations, bicycles, parking, motor vehicle equipment, driver licensing, agency organization, commercial vehicle regulations, railroads, land conveyance, and autonomous vehicles

 

11:00 a.m.
Senate in Session

 

12:00 p.m.
House in Session

 

3:00 p.m.
Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Division

Room: 123 Capitol

Chair: Sen. Terri E. Bonoff
Agenda:
University of Minnesota – Bonding Proposal
S.F. 1293-Stumpf: Higher education asset preservation and replacement (HEAPR) projects bond issue and appropriation.
S.F. 398-Hoffman, J.: Anoka-Ramsey community college bioscience edition bond issue and appropriation.
S.F. 463-Hoffman, J.: Anoka technical college and Anoka-Ramsey community college higher education asset preservation and replacement (HEAPR) bond issue and appropriation.
S.F. 395-Eken: Moorhead Minnesota State Community and Technical College transportation center project bond issue and appropriation.
S.F. 396-Eken: Moorhead Minnesota state university higher education asset preservation and replacement (HEPRA) bond issue and appropriation.
S.F. 1372-Sparks: Riverland community college demolition, reconfiguration and renovation bond issue and appropriation

Looking Ahead
Wednesday, April 17
8:30 a.m.
Senate Finance

Room: 123 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Richard Cohen
Agenda: S.F. XXXX-Tomassoni: Environment, Economic Development, and Agriculture omnibus bill

11:00 a.m.
Senate in Session

Thursday, April 18
10:00 a.m.
House Ways and Means
Room: 5 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Lyndon Carlson
Agenda: Omnibus K-12 Education Finance Bill (HF630)
Omnibus Higher Education Finance Bill (HF457)
Other bills may be added.
Amendments to these bills are due to committee staff by 5 p.m., Wednesday, April 17

11:00 a.m.
Senate in Session

3:00 p.m.
Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Division
Room: 123 Capitol

Chair: Sen. Terri E. Bonoff
Agenda (Revised): Overview – University of Minnesota & Fairview – Cancelled
Added – S.F. 1530
Confirmation Hearing – Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges &
Universities: Ann Anaya & Maria Peluso
S.F. 1530-Miller: Winona state university education village creation bond issue and appropriation

 

Friday, April 19

 

11:00 a.m.
Senate in Session

 

Thank you.

 

Melissa Fahning, Government Relations
(651) 201-1757
(612) 483-3741 cell
melissa.fahning@so.mnscu.edu

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