Tuesday, March 31, 2009

House unveils bonding bill, House budget proposed

House unveils bonding bill
The House Capital Investment committee presented the House bonding bill yesterday in committee. Included in the bill for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities is $67.9 million; $30 million in HEAPR and the 5 vetoed projects from last session. Those projects include $11 million for the health and science center addition at Lake Superior College; $5 million for carpentry and industrial mechanical technology shops at Mesabi Range Community and Technical College; $4.98 million for the smart classroom center at Metropolitan State University; $13.3 million for the center for business and technology at North Hennepin Community College; and $3.635 million for the system wide classroom renovation initiative at Central Lakes College, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Northland Community and Technical College, Pine Technical College and Rochester Community and Technical College.

The bill is scheduled for mark-up and passage today at 2:45 p.m. From there, the bill will head to the House Finance committee at 6:30 this evening. Tomorrow, the House Ways and Means committee is expected to take it up at 2:45 p.m.

House proposes budget for 134 members and 235 staff
House of Representatives Controller Paul Schweizer testified in the Rules and Legislative Administration Committee yesterday about the House budget. According to Session Daily, with a projected 6 percent reduction to the two-year operating budget, House staff won’t receive a pay increase during the 2010-2011 biennium, and 18 vacant positions will be left unfilled. The House operates with 134 members and 235 staff positions.

Session Daily reports the other proposed budget adjustments which include:
• restricting member reimbursement for year-round lodging to the first year of the biennium;
• a 6 percent increase in employee health insurance premium costs in each year of the biennium;
• no reimbursement for out-of-state travel; and
• voluntary leave of absences will be encouraged.

The proposal is to be considered next by the House State Government Finance Division.

At the Capitol:
Legislative schedules are available for the House and Senate.

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