Updates from the Government Relations team are sent periodically during the legislative session.                                                  
Legislative Update - March 29, 2017
Senate Higher Education bill passes off Senate Floor

Late Tuesday night, the Senate heard SF 2214 - the Higher Education Finance and Policy bill. Republicans control the Senate with a one member majority (34-33).

The following amendments were heard:

  • Sen. Tomassoni (DFL-Chisholm) offered A67 amendment – an easement grant to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority for the City of Virginia at Mesabi Range College. It was adopted on a voice vote.
  • Sen. Dziedzic (DFL-Minneapolis) offered A66 amendment – which at no additional cost - expand eligibility for child care assistance for students. Sen. Fischbach voiced concerns that although the amendment would not cost any additional dollars , the grant may not reach as many students. It was adopted on a voice vote.
  • Sen. Marty (DFL-Roseville) – offered A73 amendment to remove all policy language from the bill. He noted Governor Dayton's concern that policy is being combined with budget bills and that in order for a clean process, the two should be separated. The amendment was not adopted on a 31-36 vote.
  • Sen. Clausen (DFL-Apple Valley) offered A74 amendment to remove state grant tuition caps. The amendment was not adopted on a 33-34 vote.
  • Sen. Isaacson (DFL-Shoreview) offered A75 amendment to change the tuition freeze language for Minnesota State from "must establish" to "is requested to set" which is similar language to that provided to the University of Minnesota. The amendment was not adopted on a 29-38 vote.
  • Sen. Clausen (DFL-Apple Valley) offered A68 amendment and A72 amendment which looked to modify the language aimed at for-profit schools and the Office of Higher Education oversight. Neither amendment was adopted on a 33-34 vote.

After amendments were heard, Senators Cohen, Isaacson, and Pappas spoke out against the bill. SF 2214 passed the Senate Floor on a 36-31 votes.

House Higher Education bill to be heard Wednesday in Ways and Means

The next step for HF 2477 - the House Higher Education Omnibus Bill will be heard in Ways and Means on Wednesday. This is the next stop before heading to the House Floor for debate. The Committee is listed to begin at 5:00 p.m. or at the call of the chair and will be live streamed.

This week at the Capitol

Wednesday, March 29

8:15 a.m. (will meet at the call of the chair)
House Ways and Means
5 State Office Building
HF2477 (Nornes) - Higher Education Office, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, and University of Minnesota funding and policy changes provided; state grant program calculation parameters modified, reports required, and money appropriated.
HF707 (Gunther) - Legacy dedicated funding website funding provided, and money appropriated.
HF896 (Cornish) - Public safety, courts, firefighter, corrections, crime, disaster assistance, and controlled substance provisions modified; and money appropriated.

8:30 a.m.
Senate Committee on Taxes
15 Capitol
SF718 (Nelson) - Early childhood, k-12 and adult education appropriations.
SF2255 (Chamberlain) - School building bond agricultural property tax credit establishment; state general levy modification; income tax subtractions for social security benefits and college savings plans contributions and student loan payments; appropriation.
SF 2255 will become the Omnibus Tax bill after the DE amendment is adopted.

9:00 a.m.
Senate in Session

10:00 a.m.
House in Session

3:00 p.m.
House Capital Investment
200 State Office Building
HF269 (Scott) - Closed landfill cleanup funding provided, bonds issued, and money appropriated.
HF423 (Theis) - Hearing-impaired and hard-of-hearing accommodations required in capital improvement projects.

3:00 p.m.
House Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance
10 State Office Building
Agenda: HF2209 (Garafalo) - Labor standards and apprenticeship division funding provided, and money appropriated.

Thursday, March 30

10:00 a.m.
Senate Committee on Finance
1200 Minnesota Senate Building
Agenda: SF718 (Nelson) - Education Finance and Policy Omnibus Bill

Important Links:

  • Most recent bill introductions related to higher education (compiled by Government Relations team) can be found HERE (updated 3/28/17)
  • 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 – jim.grathwol@minnstate.edu