Updates from the Government Relations team are sent periodically during the legislative session
Legislative Update: January 16, 2019

Minnesota State presented to both the Senate and House higher education committees yesterday. In the Senate, committee members learned about Minnesota State’s $246 million budget request to the Legislature this session.
Board of Trustees Chair Michael Vekich shared that while these are challenging times, he believes this is a time of opportunity for Minnesota State. “Minnesotans have made strategic investments in our human capital and our bricks and mortar. We are focused on the future. We know higher education a decade from now will look a lot different than it does today. With your help, we will be ready,” Vekich said.
Chancellor Devinder Malhotra told committee members that communities across Minnesota need colleges and universities now more than ever. He asked the committee that as they consider Minnesota State’s budget request, to understand that it is a thoughtful request that accurately reflects what partners shared with Minnesota State about what is needed.
Vice Chancellor of IT Ramon Padilla, Winona State University President Scott Olson, and Century College President Angelia Millender shared with the committee the importance of funding the $37 million Next Gen request, a critical technology replacement of the current 20-year-old outdated ISRS data system. Padilla told Senators, “We have been good stewards of the state by creating and maintaining ISRS for 20 years, but the system now prevents campuses from being competitive and puts the system in technological risk.” He continued by saying the time to act is now, before there is a crisis.
Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Laura King, Anoka Technical College and Anoka-Ramsey Community College President Kent Hanson, and Kari Christiansen, Vice President of Administrative Services at Central Lakes, also testified to the importance of funding the budget request. King said it’s important to recognize that state appropriation and tuition, the campuses two main revenue sources, work together to provide colleges and universities with 92 percent of their general fund total revenue. King said, “With state funds in recent years substituting for tuition revenue, while state funding levels have increased, the college and university revenues have not.” President Hanson and Ms. Christiansen explained in greater detail the budget challenges campuses experience and that it is imperative to fund Minnesota State’s budget request in order for campuses to protect access and affordability, improve student success and help provide financial health of every campus.
The budget presentation delivered to the Senate Higher Education Finance and Policy committee can be found HERE .
In the House, Higher Education Finance and Policy committee members learned more about Minnesota State through a presentation focused on the system’s vision, mission and goals. Chair Vekich shared with the committee that the Minnesota State Board of Trustees remains steadfast in their commitment to making good on the system’s vision of providing opportunity for all Minnesotans. He said the fifteen member Board is made up of volunteers who are committed to the success of the system, students and the communities served.
Chancellor Malhotra talked about the system’s mission: to ensure access to affordable and exceptional postsecondary education to all Minnesotans so they can become the talent Minnesota needs. Malhotra explained that to achieve this mission, everyone is focused on three guiding principles: the success of our students; diversity, equity and inclusion; and financial and programmatic sustainability. Malhotra expanded his testimony on students. He said, “I am in awe of each and every one of our students for the persistence and perseverance in staying focused on their goals. In many cases, they must overcome significant barriers to reach their dreams.”
The presentation delivered to the House Higher Education Finance and Policy committee can be found HERE .


This Week at the Capitol
Wednesday, January 16
 8:30 a.m.
Senate Finance
Room: 1200 Senate Building
Chair: Sen. Julie A. Rosen
Recap of November forecast
Myron Frans, Commissioner, Minnesota Management & Budget
Dr. Laura Kalambokidis, State Economist
Britta Reitan, State Budget Director

1:00 p.m.
Senate Jobs and Economic Growth Finance and Policy
Room: 1150 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
Chair: Sen. Eric R. Pratt
Agenda: Introduction of New Committee Members
Committee Jurisdiction Update
Introduction and Update from Commissioners
2:30 p.m.
House Higher Education Finance and Policy Division
Room: 10 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Connie Bernardy
Agenda: Introduction of Regents
Minnesota Higher Education Finance Overview - House Research
Office of Higher Education presentation of vision, mission, and goals
3:00 p.m.
Senate E-12 Finance and Policy
Room: 1100 Senate Building
Chair: Sen. Carla Nelson
Agenda: Presentation of education organizations’ legislative agendas
Thursday, January 17
8:00 a.m.
House Capital Investment
Room: 10 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Mary Murphy
Agenda: What is State Bonding? An Explanation of the Different Types of Bonding; Deborah Dyson, House Researcher and Andrew Lee, Fiscal Analyst.
How Much Debt Capacity Does Minnesota Have and How Is It Measured? Minnesota Management and Budget Office.
Continuation of Reports from January 15th meeting.
8:30 a.m.
Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Finance and Policy
Room: 1100 Minnesota Senate Building
Chair: Sen. Bruce Anderson
Introduction of Commissioner of Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Larry Herke
Overview: Department of Veterans Affairs
Overview: Department of Military Affairs
S.F. 58-Jasinski: Disabled veteran\'s homestead market value exclusion administration data sharing permission
9:45 a.m.
House Agriculture and Food Finance and Policy Division
Room: 200 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Jeanne Poppe
Agenda: MN Department of Agriculture update on federal 2019 Farm Bill and big picture discussion of how MN can build on it
Agricultural Research, Education, Extension, and Technology Transfer Program (AGREETT) Update by University of Minnesota College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (CFANS) Dean Brian Buhr
11:00 a.m.
Senate in Session
1:00 p.m.
Senate Higher Education Finance and Policy
Room: 15 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Paul Anderson
Agenda: Office of Higher Education State Grant Overview:
Dennis Olson, Commissioner
Meredith Fergus, Office of Higher Education
3:30 p.m.
House in Session
Tuesday, January 22
8:00 a.m.
House Economic Development Finance
Room: 200 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Tim Mahoney
Agenda: Overview of the Department of Labor and Industry
Overview of the Bureau of Mediation Services - Commissioner Janet L. Johnson
2:30 p.m.
Joint Education Policy Committee and Education Finance Division Meeting
Room: Capitol 120
Chairs: Rep. Cheryl Youakim & Rep. Jim Davnie
Agenda: Presentations: Mental Health and Youth
National Alliance on Mental Illness – Minnesota
Minnesota School Counselors Association
Education Minnesota
2:30 p.m.
House Veterans and Military Affairs Finance and Policy
Room: 5 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Rob Ecklund
Agenda: Presentation from MN Department of Veterans Affairs
 Presentation from MN Department of Military Affairs
Wednesday, January 23

2:30 p.m.
House Education Policy
Room: State Office Building Room 5
Chair: Rep. Jim Davnie
Presentations: What Students Bring to the Classroom
Kent Pekel, President and Chief Executive Officer, Search Institute
Angela Jerabek, Executive Director, BARR Center
Important Links
  • Bill introductions as of January 16, 2019 can be found HERE
  • 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:
Bernie Omann –  Bernie.Omann@MinnState,edu
Melissa Fahning - Melissa.Fahning@MinnState.edu
Tina Firkus - T ina.Firkus@MinnState.edu