Friday, May 1, 2009

Update from the Capitol

Yesterday at the Capitol

The higher education conference committee met again yesterday and discussed multiple provisions in the bill. Proposals were made, but nothing was accepted and no action has been taken other than the same and similar provisions between the two bills that were adopted Wednesday. Conferees are scheduled to meet today at 11:00 in room 118 of the Capitol.

The Legislative Commission on Planning and Fiscal Policy also met yesterday to continue discussions on budget targets. House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, said there needs to be transparency as the House, Senate and the governor work toward a 2010-11 biennial budget agreement. "To the extent possible, we want to do this in a public way, so we understand the choices that need to be made," Kelliher said.

Bill Marx, House chief fiscal analyst, said that the federal stimulus funds are complicating the numbers. Some of the money is used to stabilize accounts, or buyback previous budget reductions, while others parts are to be used as an economic stimulus.

Speaker Anderson Kelliher said the work by conference committees on four omnibus bills: agriculture and veterans affairs, transportation finance, economic development, and environment and natural resources, should be completed this weekend, with the intent of having them on the governor’s desk the middle of next week.

Also meeting yesterday was the Senate Higher Education Policy Committee to approve governor appointments. Committee members recommended that David Paskach be confirmed as a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees. The recommendation was referred to the full Senate for final confirmation.

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

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