Legislative Update: January 13, 2020

Governor recommends $263.7 million in bonding for Minnesota State

Earlier today, Governor Tim Walz released his higher education bonding proposal for the 2020 legislative session that includes $263.7 million for Minnesota State. His recommendation consists of $142.5 million for asset preservation and $121.2 million for capital bonding projects at the colleges and universities. Walz’s proposal fully funds every bonding project in the system’s request. In response, Minnesota State released the following statement:

“We are very pleased that Governor Walz is showing his steadfast support for the critical role that higher education plays in meeting the workforce needs of Minnesota,” said Devinder Malhotra, chancellor of Minnesota State. “The capital projects and asset preservation work included in the Governor’s proposal would have a direct impact on the success of our 350,000 students by improving campus teaching and learning environments, enhancing STEM classrooms and labs, and streamlining critical student support services. We are very grateful for his support and look forward to working with legislators throughout the 2020 session.”

Anoka-Ramsey Community College, the first campus project on the system’s list directly following the asset preservation request, was the venue for the press conference announcing a total of $488 million for higher education, including $224.2 million for the University of Minnesota. Following the press conference, Gov. Walz, Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan, Office of Higher Education Commissioner Scott Olson, Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans, Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove, Rep. Connie Bernardy, DFL-New Brighton, and Rep. Erin Koegel, DFL-Spring Lake Park, toured the nursing lab space at Anoka-Ramsey Community College to learn more about the much needed renovation. Since its inception in 1967, the Nursing program at Anoka-Ramsey has grown to be the second largest in the state of Minnesota.

Walz said about his higher education bonding proposal, “Every Minnesotan deserves access to opportunities that will lead to a bright future, and for many that means attending a higher education institution. But insufficient space, aging facilities, and outdated technology on college campuses aren’t just holding our students back – they’re holding Minnesota back in the face of a workforce shortage that’s impacting every corner of the state. This critical funding would address that gap by providing the 21st century education needed to prepare our students for the jobs of tomorrow that our businesses are creating today.”

Illustrating the need for infrastructure and asset preservation support on all higher education campuses, the Star Tribune published an op-ed written by both Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra and University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel. The op-ed can be found HERE. The complete 2020 Minnesota State capital request can be found HERE.

For more information please contact the Government Relations Team:

Bernie Omann – Bernie.Omann@MinnState.edu
Melissa Fahning – Melissa.Fahning@MinnState.edu
Sarah Berns – Sarah.Berns@MinnState.edu
Tina Firkus – Tina.Firkus@MinnState.edu

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