House and Senate committees continue to hold overview hearings this week.
Yesterday, the House Higher Education and Career Readiness Policy and Finance Committee held it's first committee meeting, introducing members and hearing an overview of the committee's governance and legislative oversight.
Several new programs and grants created last biennium were also highlighted, including an occupational scholarship pilot program offering scholarships to two-year college students for college credentials in high-demand occupations; a teacher shortage loan forgiveness program; dual-training competency grant programs; equity in post-secondary education grants; campus sexual assault data collection; and establishing a higher education attainment goal.
Tuesday's meetings also included several committees reviewing proposals for health insurance premium rebates, with a vote on the proposed package expected in today's House Ways and Means Committee meeting. The House State Government Finance Committee approved HF107 as amended (here and here), which would direct MMB to administer insurance relief to qualifying Minnesotans and require the agency to make applications for relief available on its website, process the applications and issue $300 million in relief checks. The House Civil Law and Data Practices Policy Committee approved HF3, a bill that would bring Minnesota into full compliance with the federal Real ID Act of 2005. The bill is scheduled to be heard Wednesday by the House Transportation and Regional Governance Policy Committee.
Also on Tuesday, the University of Minnesota asked for a 12% increase in state funding over the biennium, a total of $147.2 million over two years that would primarily go toward research, student success, and holding town tuition.
Today, the first big bill of the 2017 session could be on its way to the House Floor by day's end. The House Ways and Means Committee — generally a bill's final stop before it heads to the full House — is scheduled to take up a package of health care reforms Wednesday evening.
Today also includes a full schedule of committee hearings and a 12:15 p.m. floor session. Watch a live webstream of today's floor session, as well as the House Ways and Means Committee, scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.
We expect the Senate Committee on Higher Education Finance and Policy to hear its overview on Thursday. Additionally, both the House and the Senate will be in floor session Thursday to discuss health insurance modifications, premium assistance, reporting requirements and appropriate (HF1 and SF1).