Updates from the Government Relations team are sent periodically during the legislative session
Legislative Update - April 25, 2018
Higher education omnibus bills move to the floor

Monday evening, both the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee passed their respective higher education omnibus bills.

The Senate Finance committee passed the higher education bill and rolled it into one large supplemental budget bill. Committee Chair Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Vernon Center, said SF 3656 will be used as the omnibus supplemental finance bill.

As of the time of passage, the higher education bill did not have a budget target. However, in Senate Finance Committee Tuesday evening, committee members finished hearing all omnibus bills, and an amendment was offered to the higher education section appropriating $1 million to Minnesota State for NextGen. The amendment passed.

As shared earlier, the Senate bill does reallocate $1 million of surplus funding from the college occupational scholarship pilot program administered by the Office of Higher Education and appropriates that funding to the following:

  • $500,000 one-time appropriation to Minnesota State for renewal of workforce development scholarships
  • $300,000 one-time appropriation to the Office of Higher Education for the State Grant program
  • $100,000 one-time appropriation to the Office of Higher Education for the Agricultural Educators Loan Forgiveness program
  • $50,000 one-time appropriation to the Office of Higher Education for the Student Loan Debt Counseling program
  • $50,000 one-time appropriation to the Office of Higher Education for a Teacher Preparation Program Design Grant

In the House, the Ways and Means committee amended the higher education omnibus bill, and it was rolled into a larger bill with the K-12 education omnibus bill. With the amendment, the bill now does the following:

  • Reduces the one-time $5 million appropriation to Metropolitan State University’s cybersecurity program to $1 million
  • Appropriates that reduction of $4 million one-time funds to Minnesota State for campus support
  • Deletes the one-time $500,000 appropriation to the workforce development scholarship program
  • Appropriates that elimination of $500,000 to the University of Minnesota
  • Appropriates $500,000 of one-time funds to the Office of Higher Education for the State Grant program and other programs
The next stop for the bills is the House and Senate floor, where the higher education bill could be heard as early as Thursday.
Governor Dayton lays out his parameters to end the session
On Monday, Governor Mark Dayton sent a letter to legislative leadership outlining his vision for the remaining weeks of session. Dayton laid out the parameters he believes will bring a “productive and timely conclusion” to the legislative session. Those include: transparency and public accountability in end-of-session negotiations, put all offers in writing, all final bills should be posted and publicly available for review for a minimum of 24 hours, end-of-session negotiations should include commissioners and minority legislators, the House and Senate must agree on a unified position before Dayton engages in negotiations, and he is asking that joint budget targets be reached no later than May 11. The Governor indicates in his letter that he does not plan to call a special session.
Legislators have just under four weeks to wrap everything up, including the supplemental budget bill, tax bill and bonding bill.
This Week at the Capitol

Wednesday, April 25

8:15 a.m.
House Government Operations and Elections Policy
Room: 10 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Tim O’Driscoll
Agenda: HF4256 (Dean Urdahl): Capitol Preservation Commission approval required for the display of works of art in certain areas of the Capitol, and Capitol Arty Advisory Committee established.
HF4244 (Bob Gunther): Loan cap to local units of government from a rural electric cooperative or the USDA modified, and technical change made.
HF3445 (Ron Kresha): Rulemaking modified.
HF3246 - (Moran): Task force on childhood trauma-informed policy and practices established, and report required
(4/24/2018)  H3445DE3 Kresha.pdf
(4/24/2018)  H4256DE1 Urdahl.pdf

8:30 a.m.
Senate Taxes
Room: 15 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Roger C. Chamberlain
S.F. 3661-Koran: Retreat houses or craft houses seasonal recreational property tax classification.
S.F. 3735-Johnson, M.: Intrastate natural gas transportation or distribution pipeline system personal property tax exemption.
S.F. 3077-Lang: Watershed districts levy authority modification.
S.F. 3392-Chamberlain: MNsure operations funding and health carriers and plans certification authority modifications; federal waivers and approvals submission deadline requirement; human services commissioner risk-bearing limitations imposition.
S.F. 4010-Chamberlain: Income and corporate franchise tax rates reduction by revenue commissioner authorization.
S.F. 3850-Rest: Income tax credit for parents of stillborn children out of state requirements modification

10:00 a.m.
House in Session
HF2743 (Smith) Actions for damages based on services or construction to improve real property regulated, and limitation on actions provided
HF3225 (Fenton) Wireless communications device dealer payments for used devices regulated
SF2777 (Pugh) Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard-of-Hearing modified
HF1609 (Smith) Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts enacted
HF3210 (Loonan) County authorization for storm and sanitary sewer systems modified

12:00 p.m.
Senate in Session
Special Orders:
S.F. 2629 (Draheim) - Modifies and simplifies the job training program grant statute to make it more effective.
S.F. 3525 (Jasinski) - Exempts the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) from the political subdivision compensation limits found in Minnesota Statutes, allowing the MAC to attract and retain highly talented employees.
H.F. 3841 (Hall) - Raises the lower limit of contracts required to follow a sealed bidding process under the Uniform Municipal Contracting Law from $100,000 to $175,000 to reflect increased construction costs. This bill passed the House.
H.F. 3755 (Franzen) - Clarifies the types of watercraft that are subject to carbon monoxide detectors and where they are placed ("Sophia's Law" passed in 2016). The updated language also reduces the regulations on boaters. This bill passed the House unanimously.

1:30 p.m.
Senate Capital Investment
Room: 1200 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
Chair: Sen. David H. Senjem
S.F. 2668-Dahms: Public facilities authority clean water bond issue and appropriations.
S.F. 3075-Westrom: Wastewater infrastructure projects supplemental grant bond issue and appropriation.
S.F. 3873-Kiffmeyer: Big Lake wastewater treatment facility grant bond issue and appropriation.
S.F. 2325-Weber: Lakefield wastewater infrastructure grant bond issue and appropriation.
S.F. 275-Sparks: Albert Lea public sewer and water infrastructure bond issue and appropriation.
S.F. 3858-Newman: Glencoe wastewater treatment facility improvements bond issue and appropriation

3:00 p.m.
Room: 200 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Dean Urdahl
Agenda: HF4414 (Dean Urdahl): Cosmos elementary school repurposing funding provided, bonds issued, and money appropriated.
HF3510 (Alice Hausman): Minnesota Museum of American Art prior appropriation modified, bonds issued, and money appropriated.
HF2755 (Bud Nornes): Perham; redevelopment funding provided, bonds issued, and money appropriated.
HF4440 (Kathy Lohmer): Lake Elmo; Highway 36 acceleration lane funding provided, bonds issued, and money appropriated.
HF2970 (Peter Fischer): White Bear Lake multiuse trail project description amended.
HF3644 (Albright): Metro State University cybersecurity operations center funding provided, bonds issued, and money appropriated.

After Session or at the Call of the Chair
House Ways and Means
Room: 200 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Jim Knoblach
HF3138 (Dean): Omnibus Health and Human Services Bill
HF4160 (Torkelson:) Omnibus Transportation Bill
HF4385 (Davids:) Omnibus Tax Bill will be heard pending referral to the Ways and Means Committee.
(4/24/2018)  H3138A55.pdf
(4/24/2018)  H3138A56.pdf
(4/24/2018)  H3138A57.pdf
(4/24/2018)  A18-0832.pdf
(4/24/2018)  H4160A28.pdf

Thursday, April 26

8:30 a.m.
Senate Taxes
Room: 15 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Roger C. Chamberlain
S.F. 3261-Anderson, B.: Disabled veterans homestead property tax exclusion spousal benefit and application requirement modification.
S.F. 3940-Chamberlain: Sales tax rate reduction in response to tax imposed on remote sellers.
S.F. 3995-Bakk: Sustainable forest incentive program eligible land clarification

10:30 a.m.
Senate in Session

After Session or at the Call of the Chair
House Ways and Means
Room: 200 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Jim Knoblach
HF3719 (Hamilton): Omnibus agriculture finance bill
HF3502 (Fabian): Omnibus environment and natural resources policy and finance bill
HF4016 (Anderson, S.): Omnibus state government finance bill.
HF4099 (Knoblach): Obsolete transfer deleted

After Session or at the Call of the Chair
House Civil Law and Data Practices Policy
Room: 10 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Peggy Scott
Agenda: HF4459 (Peppin): Sexual harassment definition clarified
HF4458 (Zerwas): Vulnerable Adult Maltreatment Prevention and Accountability Act established; nursing home, home care provider, housing with services establishments, and assisted living services provisions modified; maltreatment of vulnerable adults reporting modified; data sharing requirements modified; working groups established, and reports required
HF2767 (Davnie): Statutory form for making declarations about restrictive covenants that are prohibited under law provided

Friday, April 27

10:00 a.m.
House Ways and Means
Room: 200 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Jim Knoblach
Agenda: HF4289 (Garofalo): Omnibus employment, economic development and energy bill.

Important Links:
  • Most recent bill introductions related to higher education (compiled by Government Relations team) can be found HERE (updated April 25, 2018)
  • Committee schedules can be found HERE
  • Many committee hearings and floor sessions are streamed live via the web or broadcast on television. More information and a schedule can be found HERE
Government Relations team:
Jaime Simonsen –  Jaime.Simonsen@MinnState,edu
Bernie Omann –  Bernie.Omann@MinnState,edu
Jim Grathwol – J im.Grathwol@MinnState.edu
Melissa Fahning - Melissa.Fahning@MinnState.edu
Tina Firkus - T ina.Firkus@MinnState.edu