Thursday, April 23, 2009

House passes higher education bill

Yesterday at the Capitol
House passes higher education bill - heads to conference committee

The House passed the higher education omnibus bill off the floor yesterday evening by a vote of 86-46. Many amendments were discussed, but not many were adopted. The amendments that were adopted include Rep. Keith Downey's, R-Edina, amendment that requires the University of Minnesota to submit an expenditure plan to the Legislature for the 2012-13 biennium. The bill already included language for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities to submit a plan.

The second amendment adopted was Rep. Larry Haws', DFL-St. Cloud, amendment that requires college and university bookstores to the extent possible to sell clothing made in America and then report to the Legislature on their efforts to comply. And the final amendment that was adopted was Rep. Steve Smith's, R-Mound, amendment that prohibits human cloning at the University of Minnesota.

Now that both bodies have passed the higher education omnibus bill, a conference committee will be formed to work through the differences. We will let you know when conferees are announced.
Bonding conference committee meets for a second time

The Capital Investment conference committee met yesterday evening. Sen. Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon, presented a new offer totaling $275 million, down from $329 million. The only change to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system is the HEAPR number, which went from $50 million to $45 million. All five vetoed projects are still included.

Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul, said they would likely be ready to meet again this afternoon. As a reminder, the House position includes the system HEAPR number at $30 million and the five vetoed projects.

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

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