The Weekly Advocate

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Legislative Action
From the Minnesota Legislature's Website

End of 90th Session

By state constitution, the last day the Legislature may meet in 2017 is May 22.
For constitutional provisions concerning the length of session and special sessions, see Minnesota Constitution, Article IV

Runs, Resources and Side-by-Sides
Monday Legislative Briefing
May 22, 2017 - Week 21
Still Negotiating....
Today is the last day of the 90th regular legislative session. By law, all work must conclude by midnight tonight. If work remains, a special session must be called. 
Though some bills have passed, most, including education bills, remain in limbo.
The weekend was full of conference committees, caucus meetings and behind-closed-doors negotiations.
The following agreements have been made and passed off both floors:
  • Agriculture
  • Elections
  • Higher Education
  • Jobs and Economic Development
  • Environment
The Omnibus Elections Bill did pass the House (127-5) and Senate (64-0) and has been sent to the Governor for his signature. It is anticipated that the Governor will sign the bill.
The bill establishes uniform election dates for all local units of government. Beginning January 1, 2018, all school elections will have to be held on one of the following dates:
  • The second Tuesday in February
  • The second Tuesday in April
  • The second Tuesday in May
  • The second Tuesday in August
  • The first Tuesday following the first Monday in November
Combined polling places will continue to be allowed but the school board must designate, by resolution, the combined polling places by December 31 for the following calendar year.
Bills yet to be agreed upon are:
  • E-12
  • Taxes
  • Health and Human Services
  • Transportation
  • Public Safety
  • State Government
  • Bonding

 Legislative Alerts from the GR Team
Teacher Licensure Reform Bill
Ask Governor Dayton to
Include H.F. 140 in E-12 Bill

Talks continued over the weekend on the teacher licensure reform bill. Governor Dayton vetoed the bill last Thursday and has been in negotiations since then.

MSBA, together with six other education organizations, held a press conference encouraging all sides to continue to negotiate.
The following points were shared at the press conference: 
  • H.F. 140 is the solution to a "broken system", as reported by the Office of Legislative Auditor',  report last year.
  • The teacher licensure reform bill, has been thoroughly vetted with over one year of work study groups, 45 iterations, 25 meetings and more than 1000 hours of discussions. All with very little opposition, until the 11th hour.
  • It is a bi-partisan bill.
  • There is almost $3.5 million in the Education Finance bill; a very deliberate decision.
  • The bill is NOT a "fix" to the teacher shortage issue, but rather a small step to provide districts help with teacher shortage issues.
Please ask Governor Dayton to continue discussions and to include this bill in the E-12 Education Finance Bill.  
Teachers Retirement Association (TRA)

Late Sunday night, the Senate unanimously approved the pension bill late Sunday evenig by a 67-0 vote.  TRA's financial stability provisions were initially not included in the bill. The bill's author, Sen. Rosen stated that they were unable to get the funding needed to cover the costs for TRA, "but hope to have time to continue to work on that."
Sen. Dan Schoen, however, successfully offered an amendment which passed by a voice vote to include the TRA stability provisions but only "if an appropriation is made to TRA in the 2017 session for the employer increase." Sen. Rosen and Pappas spoke in favor of the Schoen amendment.
MSBA believes TRA should be part of the overall solution to pensions and the state budget. A delay in fixing the issue will cause bigger deficits next year. We feel strongly, regardless of what the final bill looks like, state funding must cover the increased costs for school districts otherwise any increase to the education is consumed by unpaid pension costs.   

Minnesota School Boards Association | 507-934-8133 | |
1900 W. Jefferson Avenue
St. Peter, MN 56082