Friday, March 6, 2009

System appears before the Senate

Yesterday at the Capitol

Senate Higher Education committee takes up bonding and the System's budget
The Senate Higher Education Budget and Policy Division devoted yesterday's hearing to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and the University of Minnesota's bonding proposal and continued the oversight review for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

Sally Grans, facilities and programs, with the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, outlined the systems current and future capital projects. Grans said five projects were approved by the Legislature last year, but vetoed by the governor. The projects, which include renovation at North Hennepin Community College, classroom renovations on seven campuses, a health science center addition at Lake Superior College, a classroom center addition at Metropolitan State University and shop space addition and renovation at Mesabi Range Community and Technical College, are ready for bid. In addition, Grans said an additional four capital projects were partially funded in 2008 and can be bid within 120 days of funding.

Included in the System's 2009 capital request of $117 million is $50 million for asset preservation around the state. Grans said $83 million of the total request could be under contract by December, 2009, and would create about 1,500 construction and related jobs.

Committee members also approved language in two additional bills, SF 990 and SF 781, to be forwarded to the Capital Investment Committee in the form of a letter. SF 990 provides for bonding for the 2008 vetoed projects and the University of Minnesota Bell Museum. SF 781 contains the HEAPR projects for the higher education systems; $50 million for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and $35 million for the University of Minnesota.

Following the bonding discussion, Laura King, Vice Chancellor and CFO and Karen Kedrowski, System Director for Budget, continued the oversight review of the System's budget. Included in the discussion was non-resident tuition, the allocation model, reserves, financial statements, the tuition and fee study and the "Green Sheet," the document that accounts for all the funds the system receives from the State of Minnesota.

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

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