Higher education omnibus bills to move through committee this week
With the third and final committee deadline approaching on Friday, most of this week’s committee hearings will focus on finalizing omnibus bills. The bills are generally a compilation of proposals the committee has reviewed at an earlier date and “laid over” for possible inclusion in the omnibus bill. The third committee deadline is when major appropriation bills must be acted upon, but it does not apply to the Capital Investment, Taxes, Ways and Means, Finance, or Rules committees.
As a reminder, the House Republican Caucus released their budget targets late last week based on the February budget forecast of a $329 million surplus. The largest areas of spending are for taxes and transportation, which have targets of $107 million and $101 million respectively. A $5 million target was given to higher education. On Tuesday, the House Higher Education and Career Readiness Policy and Finance committee will take up their omnibus bill, followed by public testimony in committee on Wednesday. The committee will decide how best to spend the $5 million target provided.
The Senate Republican Caucus has yet to release their official budget targets; however, the Senate Higher Education Finance and Policy committee has released their omnibus bill, which can be found here.
The bill does not include additional spending, but does reallocate $1 million of surplus funding from the college occupational scholarship pilot program administered by the Office of Higher Education and appropriates that funding to the following:
$500,000 to Minnesota State for renewal of workforce development scholarships
$300,000 to the Office of Higher Education for the State Grant program
$100,000 to the Office of Higher Education for the Agricultural Educators Loan Forgiveness program
$50,000 to the Office of Higher Education for the Student Loan Debt Counseling program
$50,000 to the Office of Higher Education for a Teacher Preparation Program Design Grant
The Senate Higher Education Finance and Policy committee is scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon to discuss the bill.
Contact the Government Relations Teams: