Legislative Update: April 12, 2019

Original article from April 12, 2019

Today, April 12, is the third and final committee deadline, when House and Senate committees must pass major appropriation and finance bills. The next legislative deadline is May 1, which is the last day for the House and Senate to pass all major finance bills off the floor and appoint conference committees.

Looking ahead, conference committees are scheduled to receive their budget targets by May 6, with the idea that conference committee work is done by May 13.

The House and Senate higher education committees have finished work on their respective omnibus bills this week. The House higher education omnibus bill has also passed out of the Ways and Means Committee, so the next stop for that bill is the House floor. The Senate higher education omnibus bill will need to head next to Senate Finance before it can be sent to the floor for consideration by the full Senate.

Details of the House and Senate higher education omnibus bills were provided in earlier updates. As a reminder, both bills are available online. The Senate bill can be found at SF 2415, and the House bill can be found at HF 2524.

The House is recommending $159 million for Minnesota State in their bill. $149 million is to support campus operations and funds a tuition freeze included in the bill. The House also includes $10 million for the NextGen project.

The Senate bill includes $46.9 million for Minnesota State. The bill funds $22 million for the NextGen project, $15 million for workforce development scholarships, $3 million for workforce partnerships, $4 million for campus operations, $1 million for leveraged equipment, and $1.2 million for supplemental aid for operations and maintenance at non-metro colleges. The Senate bill also includes tuition caps. For the four-year universities, the bill caps tuition at 2% both years of the biennium. For the two-year colleges, the bill caps tuition at 2% the first year and 1% the second year. The bill also caps online tuition, so that tuition for an online course cannot exceed the tuition for a comparable on-campus classroom course.

As for bonding, there has been significant movement in the House. The House Capital Investment Committee passed their bonding bill out of committee on Thursday. HF 2529, includes $1.5 billion in capital projects, of which $150 million is for HEAPR, or asset preservation, for Minnesota State. The Senate Capital Investment Committee has not met this session.

The House will meet briefly in session this morning, followed by a meeting of the Ways and Means committee to take up finance bills and get them to the floor. The Senate is not scheduled to meet today.

Legislators will be honoring the annual Easter/Passover break next week, so there will be no legislative activity Saturday, April 13 – Monday, April 22. Both the House and Senate are scheduled to return to St. Paul on Tuesday, April 23. The House is expected to be in floor session at 9:00 a.m. on April 23, and the Senate will meet at noon.

Legislative Updates will resume the week of April 23.

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