Monday, December 10, 2007

Federal Budget, Emergency Prepardness and High School Redesign

Here is a brief update on where things stand with the Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations bill. As you know, in November, Congress passed the bill which contained $3 billion worth of increases to education programs. President Bush vetoed it because it was over his budget request, and the House failed to override the President's veto by just two votes.

Currently, Congress is working on one large omnibus appropriations bill, combining the 11 unfinished spending bills (including Labor, HHS, Education), which would split the difference between the President’s budget request and the Congressional bills that were vetoed. Congressional staff has indicated that they will account for the difference by scaling back increases to programs such as No Child Left Behind, Pell Grants, IDEA, and other programs that received increases, in addition to removing some earmarks, but would not make cuts to programs from their FY2007 levels if they have not already done so.

The House is expected to start action on the bill today, with hopes of getting the bill to the Senate on Wednesday and having a final bill passed by the end of the year. Stay tuned.

State Update

Here in Minnesota, the Legislative Coordinating Commission, Preparedness for Terrorism and Disaster Working Group, is meeting today at 3:00 in Room 318 of the State Capitol to look at Minnesota's emergency and disaster-related programs and plans, areas of improvement, and opportunities for collaboration. Included on the agenda will be folks from the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities to talk about what we are doing in the area of emergency response.

Tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. in Room 200 of the State Office Building, representatives from the St. Cloud Technical College's Discovery Academy will present to the House E-12 Education Committee's High School Redesign Working Group. St. Cloud Technical College's initiative provides an opportunity for high school students to take college courses in a high school setting.

No comments: