Legislative Update – March 13, 2015

Yesterday at the Capitol

The Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee met yesterday and heard a number of bills intended to help students succeed. Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, presented SF1620, a bill that requires Minnesota State Colleges and Universities to develop a comprehensive plan to encourage students to complete. This is the companion to the bill heard in the House earlier in the week. Sen. Nelson introduced an amendment to her bill that includes language regarding Board of Trustees goals and duties. The amendment reads, “The board shall have as a system goal the timely completion of degrees or certificates. The board shall continuously monitor and adopt strategies that have the potential or that have proven to promote timely completion.” The bill was adopted and laid over for possible inclusion in the higher education omnibus bill.

Committee members also heard a clarifying bill yesterday regarding postsecondary study abroad reporting. Last session, a law was passed that requires colleges and universities to report on student incidents while studying abroad. SF765, introduced by Sen. Terri Bonoff, DFL-Minnetonka, clarifies the incident reports. The bill was adopted and laid over for possible inclusion in the omnibus bill.

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities was required through legislation last legislative session, to prepare a Transfer Pathways Plan for Baccalaureate Completion. A bill was introduced this session, SF1613, that would require that plan to be implemented with a $500,000 appropriation to cover the cost of implementation. The bill was approved by the committee and referred to the Finance Committee.

The last bill heard in committee was SF1488, a bill that clarifies and prescribes the roles of campus authority and system authority within the MnSCU system. The bill includes language that lays out a process for the selection of college and university presidents, including a Local Presidential Advisory Committee. Bill author Sen. Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, told committee members that he’s concerned the campus communities do not have enough of a say in selecting the president. Trustee Dawn Erlandson and MnSCU Chief of Staff Nancy Joyer testified before the committee about the presidential search process currently being used within MnSCU. Trustee Erlandson told members that the goal is to have an effective process, judged by the quality of the candidates, the quality of the finalist, and the trust with the campus communities, board and the candidates themselves. Ms. Joyer explained that the current process includes consultation with and participation by students, faculty, staff and community members; the current process has a check to ensure balance; it promotes equity and diversity; and the search advisory committee makes the key decisions. After much discussion and some minor amendments, the bill was recommended to pass and was referred to the State and Local Government Committee.

Today at the Capitol

9:00 a.m.

House Education Innovation Policy

Room: Basement hearing room

Chair: Rep. Sondra Erickson


HF1529 (Fenton): Education Savings Accounts for Students with Special Needs Act created, and money appropriated

HF1657 (Erickson): Authorizers empowered to terminate contracts based on student performance

HF1485 (Erickson): Charter schools allowed to give enrollment preference to children who are eligible for a free or reduced-price lunch

9:00 a.m.

Senate State and Local Government
Room: 112 Capitol

Chair: Sen. Patricia Torres Ray
S.F. 1121-Saxhaug: Responsible contractor requirements clarifications and modifications.
S.F. 618-Eken: Industrial Hemp Development Act.
S.F. 759-Jensen: Teacher shortage loan forgiveness program establishment and appropriation.
S.F. 957-Jensen: No-fault automobile insurance reform issues task force establishment.
S.F. 1416-Goodwin: Local government surplus equipment nonprofit organization donation authority.
S.F. 1504-Marty: E-health advisory committee, trauma advisory council, and the maternal and child health advisory task force sunset date extension (PENDING RE- REFERRAL FROM HHS).
S.F. 1515-Marty: Wetland Conservation Act modification.
S.F. 1596-Rest: Economic development incentive programs legislative auditor evaluation requirement and appropriation.
S.F. 1359-Wiklund: State agency rulemaking provisions modification; electronic notices and documents authorization.
S.F. 1360-Wiklund: Office of administrative hearings contested cases electronic filing authorization.
S.F. 1372-Pappas: Legislative coordinating commission (LCC) provisions modifications; professional or technical services contract requirements modifications; retirement plan coverage for part-time legislative employees clarification

Looking Ahead

Monday, March 16

10:15 a.m.

House Ways and Means

Room: 200 State Office Building

Chair: Rep. Jim Knoblach


Minnesota Management & Budget: Presentation on the Cash Flow and Budget Reserve accounts

House Budget Resolution: Testimony on what the maximum limit, the budget reserve and cash flow account, or spending limits for each budget category should be. The committee will take testimony only. No action will be taken.

(3/12/2015) House Rule 4.03 Budget Resolution.pdf

(3/12/2015) Rep Winkler Permanent Rules floor amendment.pdf

(3/12/2015) CS-RES01.pdf

3:30 p.m.

House in Session

Tuesday, March 17

8:15 a.m.

House Civil Law and Data Practices

Room: 10 State Office Buiding
Chair: Rep. Peggy Scott


HF742 (O’Neill): Campus sexual harassment and sexual violence; various provisions modified relating to campus sexual assault policies, good faith reporting, postsecondary institution and law enforcement coordination, online reporting systems, data access, data classifications, security officer and administrator training, and student health services

HF582 (Anderson): Agricultural operations’ nuisance liability modified

HF1047 (Whelan): Born Alive Infants Protection Act created, and civil remedies and protections provided

HF864 (Sanders): Response or incident data regulated, administrative penalty for insurance fraud provided, and process of deauthorization of the right of health care providers to receive payments created

10:15 a.m.

House Agriculture Policy

Room: 5 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Paul Anderson

HF1415 (Torkelson): Roadway use access modified

HF1451 (Miller): Livestock industry study required

HF1098 (Sundin): Rural Finance Authority loan state participation limit increased

HF1554 (Anderson): Agriculture policy and technical changes made to various provisions; and agricultural growth, research, and innovation program sunset repealed

5:30 p.m.

Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement

Room: 10, State Office Building

Chair:  Rep. Tim O’Driscoll


Approval of mortality assumption changes proposed for seven monthly benefit volunteer firefighter relief associations.
H.F. 477 (Mahoney); S.F. 580 (Hawj):  PERA; Service credit purchase for unreported St. Paul Public Schools employment.
H.F. 1114 (Hansen); S.F. 1342 (Metzen):  MSRS; Service credit purchase for pre-1996 Department of Revenue seasonal employment.
H.F. 1121 (Sanders); S.F. xxxx:  PERA; Service credit purchase for uncredited employment by Hennepin County Medical Center employee.

H.F. 1521 (Hoppe); S.F. 1373 (Pappas): MSRS-General, MSRS-Unclassified; Clarification of coverage for part-time legislative employees.

H.F. 1292 (Nelson); S.F. xxxx: MSRS-Unclassified; MSRS-General; Election options for legislators.

H.F. 1717 (Johnson, C.); S.F. xxxx: PERA; Coverage for Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging employees.

Other one-person or small group bills introduced before March 17, 2015.

Bill Introductions

Please see the attached spreadsheet for the higher education related  bill introductions.

Thank you.

Melissa Fahning
Director of Legislative Communications
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities
651-201-1757 (work) 612-483-3741 (cell)


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