Legislative Update – March 9, 2018

Higher education committees start hearing bills

The House Higher Education and Career Readiness Policy and Finance committee heard a handful of bills in committee this week, including a loan forgiveness program bill that clarifies the funds for the programs. The 2017 Legislature appropriated funds to the Office of Higher Education for four loan forgiveness programs: the Teacher Shortage Loan Forgiveness Program, the Large Animal Veterinarian Loan Forgiveness Program, the Agricultural Educators Loan Forgiveness Program, and the Aviation Degree Loan Forgiveness Program. The bill heard this week clarifies that the funds received for the loan forgiveness programs are for transfer to the respective program accounts in the special revenue fund rather than an appropriation. The bill passed and was laid over in committee.

With the first committee deadline approaching in less than two weeks, we can expect to see committee agendas shift from overviews to bill activity. Also next week, Governor Mark Dayton will give his State of the State address on Wednesday, March 14, which will likely provide a preview of what’s to come Thursday, March 15 when he releases his proposed supplemental budget.

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