Legislative Update – March 21, 2017

Senate Higher Education introduces Omnibus Bill

The Senate Higher Education Finance and Policy committee presented SF2214 – the senate higher education omnibus bill this afternoon. Reminder that last week, Senate Republicans announced $100 million budget target in new money for higher education.

  • The bill, as introduced, can be found HERE
  • The fiscal spreadsheet, as introduced, can be found HERE

Major highlights of the bill follows:

Minnesota State (FY18-FY19):

  • $45 million in Campus Support. The Governor’s recommendation was $125 million.
  • $5 million to support ISRS Next Generation. The Governor’s recommendation was $25 million.
  • $3 million to provide supplemental aid for operations and maintenance to two-year institutions with at least one campus that is not located in the metropolitan county. A minimum of $50,000 for each campus with no institution receiving more than $150,000 each year.
  • For 2017-2018, tuition rates at colleges and universities must not exceed 2016-2017 rates.
  • For 2019-2019, tuition rates at colleges and universities must not exceed 2017-2018 rates.

University of Minnesota (FY18-FY19):

  • $24 million for Core Mission Support. The Governor’s recommendation was $68.2 million.
  • $4 million to support MnDRIVE. The Governor’s recommendation was $8 million.
  • Requested to set tuition rates for 2017-2018 at levels not to exceed 2016-2017 rates.
  • Requested to set tuition rates for 2018-2019 at levels not to exceed 2017-2018 rates.

Office of Higher Education (FY2018-FY2019):

  • MN State Grant received an additional $10 million to serve students
  • $6 million to fund spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury research grants – an increase of $5 million from the previous biennium
  • $350,000 for Emergency Assistance for Post-secondary Students. Grant funds will be allocated on a matching basis to schools with a demonstrable homeless student population. This is higher than the Governor’s recommendation of $250,000.
  • $1 million to establish a grant program for student teaching stipends for low-income students enrolled in an approved teacher prep program who intend to teach in a shortage area or belong to an underrepresented racial or ethnic group.

The bill also contains policy changes:

  • Minnesota State and the University of Minnesota in their biennial budget to the legislature a series of data outlined in MN Statute 135A.031. Additions to the reporting language includes data on work completed by a consultant for which payment is in excess of $500,000. In addition, aggregate data including student demographics, student enrollment history, student debt, tuition and fee history, and human resources, facilities, and administrative and financial data must be included.
  • The definition of sexual assault was modified to: “rape, sex offenses – fondling, sex offenses – incest, or sex offenses – statutory rape.
  • Minnesota State shall create a plan to reform developmental education offerings at system campuses aimed at reducing the number of students placed into developmental education. The plan, in its entirety, shall be implemented by the start of the 2020-2021 academic term.
  • The University of Minnesota shall develop a plan to conduct outreach and recruitment of students from Minnesota, specifically to increase the number of students from greater Minnesota who are admitted to the Twin Cities campus.
  • The Office of Higher Education must report aggregate information on students graduating from Minnesota high schools including number and percent from each high school who are placed in supplemental or developmental education, complete developmental education courses/programs within one academic year, complete gateway courses in one academic year, and time to complete a degree or certificate.

The committee will meet on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. to mark-up the bill.

The House Higher Education and Career Readiness Policy and Finance committee will introduce their omnibus bill on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. The hearing will be live streamed HERE.

Read more…

Questions? Contact the Government Relations Team:

Jaime Simonsen
Bernie Omann
Jim Grathwol

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