Friday, March 19, 2010

Senate Higher Ed Budget & Policy hear about budget plans for 2012-2013

Yesterday at the Capitol

The Senate Higher Education Budget and Policy Division met yesterday to hear about the higher education systems budget plans for fiscal years 2012-2013 and learn more about how the federal stimulus dollars are being spent. Laura King, Vice Chancellor and CFO for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, told committee members that with notice of the $50 million unallotment to the system occurring a year in advance, and the state's economic outlook, the system adjusted its budget planning framework early in the process and aimed for a $594 million base each year for planning purposes. The $594 million base reflects the governor's $50 million unallotment and the proposed $10.5 million reduction to the system in FY2011. You may learn more about the system's 2012-13 budget planning at

Jake Hite, a student at Winona State University, testified on the effects the appropriation cuts have had on students. Hite told committee members that the Minnesota State University Student Association, or MSUSA, listened to students at the 7 state universities to learn more about how the reductions are affecting the universities and students. Hite said some of the trends include reduction of course offerings and increased class sizes; student service reductions in financial aid and childcare; fewer hours of operation at libraries and student centers; increased fees and charges for services; and reduced public safety.

Hite said that the initial picture of how recent cuts have affected the state universities and the students attending them raises concern as to how the quality, affordability, and accessibility of education will be affected as further steps are taken to balance the campus budgets. Sen. Sharon Erickson Ropes, DFL-Winona, said that this year higher education is seeing a 2 percent reduction, however next year, given the economic outlook, higher education could be looking at a 20 percent reduction. Erickson Ropes encouraged Hite to have conversations within the MSUSA organization regarding what has to change and what has to go away.

The House Higher Education and Workforce Development Finance and Policy Division heard HF 3616 yesterday. The bill would require the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system’s central office to undergo a series of reforms, including eliminating duplication of services between the central offices and individual institutions, and ensure that services are delivered primarily at the institution level. It would also cap salaries of future system chancellors, vice-chancellors and presidents at the governor's salary level.

Rep. Jeanne Poppe, DFL-Austin, chief author of the bill, said the bill is meant to address issues outlined in a recent report from the Office of the Legislative Auditor on the Office of the Chancellor. Poppe said the state’s budget problems require the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system to deliver its services more efficiently, and with a greater focus on teaching.

Chancellor Jim McCormick told committee members that the system needs time to implement changes recommended by the OLA report. No action was taken by the committee.

Today at the Capitol

9:00 AM
Senate Judiciary
Room: 107 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Mee Moua

  • S.F. 3145-Pappas: Controlled substance offenses mixture definition modification and weight measurement mandate.
  • S.F. 1568-Doll: Minnesota Safe Drug Disposal Act of 2009.
  • S.F. 3209-Higgins: Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management Act of 2010.
  • S.F. 2663-Scheid: Motor vehicle sales and distribution costs responsibility and regulation.
  • S.F. 2704-Scheid: Minnesota Nonrecourse Civil Litigation Funding Act.
  • S.F. 2354-Betzold: Data practices violations administrative remedies and civil penalties.
  • S.F. 3028-Stumpf: Pre-kindergarten through grade 12 education appropriations and appropriation reductions.
  • S.F. 2517-Moua: Electronic court documents access authorization.
  • S.F. 1126-Moua: Tax-forfeited property uses and conveyances procedures modifications.
  • S.F. 2437-Moua: Domestic abuse ex parte court orders for protection expansion.

10:00 AM
House Civil Justice
Room: 5 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Joe Mullery
  • HF1531 (Loeffler) Classified employee expectations established as nonpartisan resources to all decision makers, and additional whistleblower protection provided to state employees.
  • HF3106 (Bigham) Implied consent, driving while impaired, and ignition interlock provisions modified.

Looking Ahead

Monday, March 22

8:00 AM
House Finance
Room: 200 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Lyndon Carlson
  • HF2899 (Pelowski) Administrative remedy provided for certain data practice law violations, civil penalty provided, and money appropriated.
  • HF2499 (Mullery) Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees required to study technical education credentials.
  • HF3274 (Obermueller) Benefit account requirements modified for unemployment benefits.
  • HF3048 (Norton) Construction codes and licensing provisions modified, and certain notice provisions modified.
  • HF2925 (Kath) Public facilities programs amended and technical changes made.

8:30 AM
Senate Finance
Room: 123 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Richard J. Cohen
  • S.F. 2598-Saxhaug: Collaborative urban educator grant program appropriation clarification.
  • S.F. 2533-Bakk: Lake Vermilion state park land acquisition authority and incorporation of existing park land.
  • S.F. 2564-Anderson: Outdoor heritage appropriations.
  • H.F. 2624/S.F. 2462-Anderson: Legislative-citizen commission on Minnesota resources (LCCMR) environment and natural resources appropriations.
  • S.F. 2364-Pappas: Higher education facilities authority revenue bond limit increase.
  • S.F. 2386-Metzen: Labor agreements and compensation plans ratification.
  • S.F. 364-Sparks: Drainage systems provisions modifications.

10:00 AM
House in Session

11:00 AM
Senate in Session

12:30 PM
Senate State Government Budget Division
Room: 112 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Don Betzold
  • S.F. 2199-Olson, G.: Legislature size reduction and senate district division prevention.
  • S.F. 2471-Olseen: Declaration of trust and real property secretary of state filings modification.
  • S.F. 2809-Higgins: State bond proceeds recipients requirements and electronic reporting requirement.
  • S.F. 2644-Betzold: Minneapolis employees retirement fund (MERF) administrative functions transfer to the public employees retirement association (PERA); MERF consolidation account in PERA establishment and operation provisions.

3:00 PM
Senate Economic Development and Housing Budget Division
Room: 107 Capitol
Chair: Sen. David J. Tomassoni
  • S.F. 1590-Sieben: Inflatable amusement equipment safety standards establishment.
  • S.F. 2895-Bonoff: Unemployment insurance administrative, benefit and tax provisions modifications; special state extended unemployment insurance program establishment.
  • S.F. 2310-Saltzman: Comparative study of state regulation affecting small business start-ups.
  • S.F. 3014-Saltzman: Minnesota Science and Technology Authority Act.

Tuesday, March 23

8:30 AM
House K-12 Education Finance
Room: Basement State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Mindy Greiling
  • HF2887 (Drazkowski) Independent School District No. 858, St. Charles, disaster aid funding and declining pupil unit aid appropriation used to help the city cover revenue losses.
  • HF3404 (Mariani) Aid payment schedule modified for certain charter schools.
  • HF3539 (Benson) Charter schools revised evaluation requirements and changes in sponsorship fees postponed.
  • HF2867 (Newton) Child with a disability definition clarified and obligations to children with disabilities specified.
  • HF3487 (Newton) Conciliation conference requirements clarified, and Minnesota Department of Education directed to amend two special education rules.
  • HF2885 (Davnie) Capital project referendum ballot language modified in cases where the same level of taxing authority is renewed.
  • 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. - article 1 only

Wednesday, April 7

8:00 AM
Trustee Candidate Advisory Council
Room: 300N State Office Building
Chairs: Kent Eklund
  • Candidates interviewed for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees

Thursday, April 8

8:00 AM
Trustee Candidate Advisory Council
Room: 300N State Office Building
Chairs: Kent Eklund
  • Candidates interviewed for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees

Friday, April 9

8:00 AM
Trustee Candidate Advisory Council
Room: 300N State Office Building
Chairs: Kent Eklund
  • Candidates interviewed for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees

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