Legislative Update 4-19-13

Yesterday at the Capitol

The Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development committee took up the confirmation of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustee members Ann Anaya and Maria Peluso yesterday. After brief discussion, the committee recommended their confirmation and sent it to the Senate floor for a vote. All the new MnSCU Trustees are now awaiting action by the full Senate.

Following the confirmation, committee members learned more about the University of Minnesota and MnSCU bonding needs. Sen. Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, presented SF 1530 to the committee. This bill would appropriate $22.2 million to Winona State University to create an education village. The project would include renovating, furnishing, and equipping Wabasha Hall and Wabasha Recreation Center and the Cathedral Elementary School in Winona, to create an education village of classrooms, laboratories, offices and meeting and support spaces enabling the College of Education to integrate with southeastern Minnesota communities and school districts to jointly provide an extraordinary experience for the preparation of teachers.  Sen. Miller said the project would grow the Education Department at Winona State University to include community and outreach.

Sen. John Hoffman, DFL-Champlin, presented SF 398, a bill that would appropriate $13.5 million to Anoka Ramsey Community College, Coon Rapids to construct a bioscience and allied health addition at the college. Brian Yolitz, Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities at MnSCU said the project is in line with the college’s five-year master plan. Yolitz told the committee that funding was provided for design of the project last session and the college looks forward to the construction phase in the future. Hoffman told committee members that the project will provide space for advanced secondary curriculum and upper-division science programs and course offerings by St. Cloud State University, Metropolitan State University and Bemidji State University.

Sen. Hoffman also presented SF 463, a bill that provides for asset preservation and replacement at Anoka Technical College and Anoka Ramsey Community College. Hoffman said that Anoka Technical College has a need to replace air handlers in the Main Building and Anoka Ramsey Community College has a need to replace the air handler in the Library Building. He said the projects will provide air quality that is safe and conducive to learning.

Following Sen. Hoffman, Sen. Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley, presented SF 396, a bill that provides funding for maintenance and repair needs at Minnesota State University Moorhead. $2.7 million would fund four projects on the campus. Those projects include: replacing the low pressure boiler and critical sections of the distribution system; securing stone panels on the Center for the Arts; re-roofing portions of MacLean Hall; and replacing the failed field lights at Nemzek Hall. Sen. Kent described to committee members the need for the repairs, telling them it would allow Minnesota State University Moorhead to continue effectively serving the workforce and community needs.

Chair of the Senate Capital Investment Committee Sen. LeRoy Stumpf, DFL-Plummer, presented the bill he is carrying, SF 1293, a bill that appropriates $75 million in HEAPR funding for both MnSCU and the University of Minnesota. Stumpf discussed his concern of trying to encourage higher education institutions to make ongoing investments in their facilities when the institutions are uncertain if asset preservation funding will be there year after year from the state. Stumpf said it is his desire to provide a steady stream of HEAPR funding over a number of years. He said he would like to see a strategy for maintaining higher education facilities on part of the higher education systems as well as state government. “The most important thing is to see a fairly adequate amount going towards asset preservation on a steady basis,” Stumpf said.

Sen. Kathy Sheran, DFL-Mankato, said there’s a relationship between the appropriation of HEAPR funds to higher education institutions and an institution’s operating budget. She said if the state underfunds HEAPR, that decision has a consequence on the institution’s operating budget. She said institutions need to take care of their buildings and do so with operating dollars when bonding is unavailable.

The committee indicated they will submit a letter of recommendation for funding higher education bonding projects to the Senate Capital Investment committee. As a reminder, Gov. Dayton is proposing $89 million in bonding for MnSCU and the House is proposing $108.6 million.

Today at the Capitol

9:00 a.m.
Senate Taxes

Room: 15 Capitol

Chair: Sen. Rod Skoe
S.F. 453-Wiger: Omnibus pre-kindergarten through grade 12 education provisions modifications and appropriations.
S.F. 935-Pappas: Public pensions aids and funding provisions modification and appropriations.
S.F. 1034-Lourey: Omnibus health and human services finance bill.

9:00 a.m.

House in Session


SF671 (Paymar) Omnibus Public Safety Finance bill

HF1160 (Hilstrom) Omnibus Judiciary Finance and Policy bill

HF819 (Hilstrom) Public Facilities Authority grant programs reorganized, and small community wastewater treatment grants provided for

HF1195 (Nelson) Hennepin County given the same authority as Minneapolis to negotiate agreements relating to skilled trade and craft workers and apprentices

SF359 (Hornstein) Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month designation

SF1168 (Simon) 911 emergency calls new crimes creation and criminal penalties provisions

11:00 a.m. or the call of the chair
House Ways and Means

Room: 200 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Lyndon Carlson

Agenda: HF677 (Lenczewski) Omnibus Tax bill
HF1444 (Hornstein) Omnibus Transportation Finance bill

11:00 a.m.
Senate in Session

S.F. 422 (Sheran) Family reunification Act of 2013
SF 392 (Latz) Real property improvements limitation of actions for damages based on services
S.F. 1607 (Tomassoni) Omnibus environment, jobs budget bill
S.F. 1160 (Sparks) Agriculture policy bill; biofuel production modifications and biobutanol definition; noxious weed law provisions modifications

Looking Ahead

Saturday, April 21

9:00 a.m.

Senate in Session

Monday, April 22

9:00 a.m.
House Jobs and Economic Development Finance and Policy
Room: 5 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Tim Mahoney
Agenda: HF1359 (Mahoney) Worker’s compensation various policy and housekeeping changes made

10:00 a.m.
House Ways and Means

Room: 200 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Lyndon Carlson
Agenda: Amendments for these bills are due to committee staff by 10 a.m.. Friday, April 19.
HF956 (Hortman) Omnibus Energy Bill.
HF879 (Falk) University of Minnesota; renewable energy research funding extended.
HF1000 (Kelly) Commissioner of commerce required to make assessments to fund clean energy resource teams.

12:00 p.m.
Senate Environment, Economic Development and Agriculture Division

Room: 112 Capitol
Chair: Sen. David J. Tomassoni
S.F. 1011-Dibble: Clean energy resources teams activities funding requirement.
S.F. 901-Marty: Omnibus energy bill.
S.F. 987-Dziedzic: Environment and natural resources trust fund appropriations

6:00 p.m.
Senate Finance
Room: 123 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Richard Cohen
S.F. 723-Pappas: Undocumented immigrants financial aid and resident tuition at public postsecondary institutions authorization.
S.F. 271-Champion: Drivers license application procedures and requirements modifications.

Tuesday, April 23

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

Room: 123 Capitol

Chair: Sen. Terri E. Bonoff
Agenda: Presentation – University of Minnesota & Fairview

Melissa Fahning, Government Relations
(651) 201-1757
(612) 483-3741 cell

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