Legislative Update: February 7, 2019

Minnesota State presents budget request to House committee

Minnesota State testified before the House Higher Education Finance and Policy committee yesterday about the system’s $246 million budget request, which includes $169 million to fund campus inflationary costs to support the financial health of every campus; $37 million for critical technology replacement of the twenty year-old outdated ISRS data system; $25 million for two new grant programs for students to help them advance and succeed; and $15 million to address the workforce gap through innovative career, technical, and professional programming serving business and industry.

In committee, Chancellor Devinder Malhotra said, “We are ready to work with you to upgrade technology to ensure the success of our students; we are ready to work with you to provide you with the highly educated workforce prepared for the jobs of the future; and we are ready to work with you to meet the current and future needs of our students.”

Chancellor Malhotra also shared with committee members that the system’s budget request is 100 percent aligned with campus commitments to communities across the state, and to affordability and enhanced access and support to historically underserved communities.

In addition to Chancellor Malhotra, Vice Chancellor of Technology Ramon Padilla, and Vice Chancellor of Finance, Laura King who all shared details of the budget request, college and university presidents testified in support of the budget request and talked about what the budget means to their campus.

President Scott Olson, Winona State University, and President Angelia Millender, Century legupdate2College joined Vice Chancellor Padilla to provide detail about the Next Gen request. The three testifiers explained how the out-of-date computer system touches everyone and nearly every activity, including application, registration, course scheduling, housing, financial aid, transcripts, system finance, accounting, and human resources. Padilla explained that the twenty-year old system has reached the end of its technological life.


President Barbara McDonald, legupdate1North Hennepin Community College, and President Ginny Arthur, Metropolitan State University, shared with the committee the stories about students and what a higher education degree means to their lives.

The full presentation can be found HERE.

Rep. Jason Rarick wins Special Election

State Representative Jason Rarick, R-Pine City, prevailed in this week’s special election in Senate District 11 over DFL nominee Stu Lourey, by a margin of 53 percent to 45 percent. Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate John Birrenbach received 2 percent of the vote.

Rarick, who was elected to a third term in the Minnesota House last November, represents the southern half of Senate District 11. District 11 includes all of Pine and Carlton counties as well as the eastern portion of Kanabec County and a small portion of southern St. Louis County.

With Rarick’s victory, the Minnesota Senate will now have 35 Republicans and 32 Democrats. A special election will now have to occur in the coming weeks to fill Rarick’s seat in the Minnesota House.

Read more…


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