House Higher Education Bill heard in Ways and Means
Late Thursday night after the House Floor Session, the Ways and Means Committee convened to hear the Higher Education Omnibus bill. Rep. Nornes introduced the committee’s bill. The following are highlights of amendments that were heard and passed for inclusion in the bill.
- Modified the performance metrics for Minnesota State to read: “increase by at least two (was four) percent in fiscal year 2017, compared to fiscal year 2010, degrees, diplomas, and certificates conferred” and “increase by at least two (was five) percent the fiscal year 2017-related employment rate for 2016 graduates, compared to the 2013 rate for 2012 graduates.”
- The House included language that requires Minnesota State baccalaureate programs to automatically admit high school graduate who are in the in top 10 percent of their class (according to GPA). Ways and Means amended the section so that an institution is not required to automatically admit an applicant if they have been convicted of a gross misdemeanor or felony.
- Rep. Knoblach introduced an amendment that requires Minnesota State Board of Trustees to not renew its existing lease for the central office location and must explore co-locating the central office on an existing system campus(es).
- Rep. Knoblach introduced an amendment that directs the University of Minnesota’s research programs as it pertains to the use of fetal tissue in their research.
The Omnibus bill, with amendments, was passed on a voice vote and will be heard on the House Floor on Tuesday, April 4. The current time posted is 10:00 a.m. but it will depend on the call of the chair. The session will be live streamed.
Busy week before Legislators go on break
Friday, March 31 was the third deadline for committees to act favorably on major appropriation and finance bills. This applies to all committees except Senate Finance and House Ways and Means. Both bodies heard and passed a number of omnibus bills off the floor last week after lengthy debates, albeit with far from unanimous agreement. The remaining omnibus bills are expected to be acted upon this week before members are away April 9-17 for the Passover/Easter break.