Thursday, March 25, 2010

Contract ratification approved, Higher Education committee works on policy bill; Budget discussions continue

Yesterday at the Capitol

The Senate Finance committee approved the contract ratification bill yesterday morning. The next stop for the bill will be the Senate floor. As a reminder, the bill includes the contracts and plans for the Minnesota State College Faculty or MSCF; the Minnesota State University Association of Administrative and Service Faculty or MSUAASF; the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees or ASCFME, the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees MAPE; the Middle Management Association; the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Administrators; the Commissioner’s Plan; and the Managerial Plan.

Also yesterday, the House Higher Education and Workforce Development Finance and Policy Division took up the committee's omnibus policy bill. Included in the bill is language that increases the age of a senior citizen from 62 to 66 for purposes of receiving reduced tuition. The bill also includes language that establishes the system office in statute and provides for general duties of the office (this language is also in the omnibus finance bill currently being conferred).

Also included in the bill is amended language that streamlines the system office by better targeting the use of state resources and provide services at the most appropriate and efficient level so as not to duplicate any services provided at the colleges and universities. An amendment also passed that includes language on appropriation reductions to the system office that states any reduction to the system office must not be passed through to any institution or campus. This language is also in the omnibus finance bill.

The committee will meet again this morning to continue working on the bill and vote on it.

As noted above, conferees are working through the differences between the House and Senate supplemental budget bill and are scheduled to meet this evening at 6:00. We will continue to keep you updated.

Today at the Capitol

8:00 AM
Senate E-12 Education Budget and Policy Division
Room: 112 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Stumpf
SF 2542 (Murphy) St. Charles disaster aid authorization
SF 3079 (Sheran) Postsecondary enrollment options program modified
SF 2550 (Kubly) School district contract deadline penalty for failure to reach a collective bargaining agreement one-time exemption
SF 3008 (Latz) School districts general education operating capital revenue use expansion for school closing costs
SF 2384 (Saltzman) School districts referendum equalizing factor increase; second tier referendum equalization elimination
SF 433 (Bonoff) School finance alternative facilities bonding and levy program modification

8:30 AM
House K-12 Finance Division
Room: Basement State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Mindy Greiling
Agenda: Governor's charter school property tax exemption proposal (see HF3306, article 6, section 2)
HF3421 (Mariani) High school assessments established to determine college and career readiness.

10:30 AM *Note time, room and agenda change*
House Higher Education and Workforce Development Finance and Policy Division
Room: 10 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Tom Rukavina
Agenda: Continuation of Higher Ed and Workforce Finance/Policy omnibus bill 2

10:30 AM
House State Government Finance Division
Room: 300N State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Phyllis Kahn
Agenda: *Bills added and removed*
HF3589 (Kath) Contracts for professional or technical services reporting threshold reduced.
HF2405 (Reinert) Temporary successors provided to members of the legislature called into active military service, implementation of statutory language provided, and constitutional amendment proposed.
HF3310 (Hilstrom) State Patrol tax compliance and vehicle crimes investigations funding provided, and money appropriated.
HF3682 (Kalin) Energy environment financing program provisions changed.
HF2809 (Severson) Bid preference program eligibility broadened for veteran-owned small businesses.
HF2849 (Norton) Minnesota and Wisconsin small business start-ups comparative study of state laws provided.
HF3515 (Winkler) Name of state accounting and procurement system specified.

*Meeting Canceled*
12:30 PM
Senate Higher Education Budget and Policy Division
Room: 123 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Sandy Pappas
Agenda: TBA

12:30 PM
House in Session

12:30 PM
Senate in Session

6:00 PM
Supplemental Budget Conference Committee on H.F. 1671
Room: 123 Capitol
Chairs: Sen. Richard J. Cohen and Rep. Lyndon Carlson
H.F. 1671-Cohen: Supplemental appropriations and reductions for higher education, environment, natural resources, energy, agriculture, veterans affairs, economic development, transportation, public safety, judiciary and state government.

Looking Ahead

Friday, March 26

8:30 AM
House Finance
Room: 200 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Lyndon Carlson
HF2848 (Hortman) Traffic fines and forfeited bail money allocations modified.
HF3029 (Hortman) Large vehicle movement on public streets and highways governing provisions modified.
HF3191 (Morrow) Sexual contact in secure treatment facilities included as criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree.
HF2840 (Swails) Collaborative governance council established.
HF2839 (Bunn) Minnesota entrepreneur virtual assistance network authorized, and money appropriated.
HF3237 (Huntley) Health care provisions changed relating to education plan requirements, health access program, private nursing coverage, children's health insurance reauthorization act, long-term care, asset transfers, clinics, dental benefits, prior authorization, drug formulary and administrative committees, preferred drugs, multisource drugs, health plans, claims against the state, and eligibility standards.
HF3329 (Greiling) Retired employee health benefits levy calculation clarified.
HF3330 (Greiling) Revenue definitions clarified for school districts and charter schools.
HFXXXX (Solberg) General fund cash flow improvement measures

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