Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Agreements reached on bonding and higher education bills

Agreement on bonding bill
The capital investment conference committee approved the bonding report just before midnight last night. The total bill authorization is $343.5 million, of which the general obligation bond proceeds is $279.8 million. Included in the bill is $40 million in HEAPR for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. All five of the 2008 vetoed projects are also in the final bill:

  • Lake Superior College Health Science Center - $11 million

  • Mesabi Range Community College, Eveleth addition - $5.25 million

  • Metropolitan State University Classroom Center - $5.7 million

  • North Hennepin Center for Business - $13.3 million

  • System wide classroom renovations - $3.625 million (Can use non-state money to increase the size of the individual projects excluding tuition and fees)

Other related projects in the bill include:

  • Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical - authority to retain proceeds from sale of surplus property

  • City of Mankato - $6.5 million grant for women's hockey Expo Center for use by Minnesota State University Mankato. The Board may lease land on campus to the city.

  • Olmsted County steam line - $5 million grant to construct steam pipeline to Rochester Community and Technical College campus

  • Metropolitan State University Law enforcement Center - excluding revenue from student tuition and fees, may use up to $2 million of college/university funds for the remainder of the project.

  • Owatonna - may use remaining funds from property acquisition for capital improvements to the property

  • St. Cloud State University - may use funds available from Brown Hall renovation to complete design

The final spreadsheet can be found here.

The final bill can be found here.

Pension bill heads to floor
The omnibus pension bill passed out of the House Ways and Means Committee yesterday with no amendments. The next stop for the bill is the House floor. As a reminder, the bill includes a provision that permits the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system to establish an early separation incentive program for its employees.

Link to higher education bill
The outcome of the higher education conference committee was reported last night. The bill is now available online here. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact any of the government relations team.

At the Capitol:

Legislative schedules are available for the House and Senate.

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