Legislative Update: February 22, 2019

March 19 Special Election

With Senator Jason Rarick, R-Pine City, vacating his seat in the Minnesota House following his election to the Minnesota Senate earlier this month, another special election has been called for Tuesday, March 19 to fill that seat in House District 11B.

On the Republican side, two candidates have filed to run: Ayrlahn Johnson, a sales consultant at a business software company from Mora; and Nathan Nelson, a member of the Clover Township Board and the president of Pine County Farm Bureau. Nelson is the Republican-endorsed candidate. Johnson and Nelson will compete in a special primary on Tuesday, March 5.

Tim Burkhardt is the sole DFL candidate in the race. Burkhardt, a member of the Hinckley City Council who ran for House District 11B in 2018, secured the DFL endorsement for the seat on February 18.

House District 11B, includes most of Pine County and the eastern portion of Kanabec County.

Next Week

Both the House and Senate higher education committees will hear from the Office of Higher Education regarding Governor Tim Walz’s higher education budget recommendation of $157.5 million next week.

As a reminder, Walz is recommending a $51.6 million increase for Minnesota State over the biennium, an increase of 3.6 percent. Of the $51.6 million, $43.6 million is for campus support, and $8 million is for NextGen, a project that will replace the 20-year old outdated enterprise data system. Walz is also recommending full funding of Minnesota State’s capital budget request of $150 million in HEAPR projects across the system.

The higher education committees will also hear a variety of bills next week, as they work to meet the first committee deadline of March 15. We can expect hearings on individual bills up until that first deadline.

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