Legislative Update: March 18, 2019

Lawmakers return to St. Paul this week for another long week of committee hearings. Now that committees have met the first bill deadline, legislators and staff have two weeks to meet the second bill deadline on March 29. This is when committees must act favorably on bills, or companion bills, that met the first deadline in the other body.

The Senate and House higher education committees have long agendas again this week, taking up issues that includes community health workers curriculum, notifying students with disabilities of postsecondary education options, textbooks, the state grant program, workforce development, debt relief, concurrent enrollment teachers, Hunger Free Campus Act, and emergency assistance grants. The complete agendas can be found below. As a reminder, the House Higher Education Finance and Policy committee meets Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m., and the Senate Higher Education Finance and Policy committee meets Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:00 p.m.

Last week the Legislative Salary Council voted on a proposal to raise lawmakers’ salaries from $45,000 a year to $46,500 for all 201 legislators. Two years ago the Council raised legislative salaries from approximately $31,000 per year to $45,000. Prior to this increase, legislative salaries had not been increased in nearly two decades. The Council is appointed by the Governor and Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. The Council will send its final recommendations to the Governor and Senate and House leaders to incorporate into the budget discussions.

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