Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Senate Higher Ed Budget & Policy hears from MHEC, CREST, CST

Yesterday at the Capitol

The Senate Higher Education Budget and Policy Division met yesterday and heard from Larry Isaak with the Midwestern Higher Education Compact. Isaak, the president of MHEC, told committee members that each of the 12 states that are part of the compact pays $95,000 a year in dues, however the return on that investment for Minnesota in fiscal year 2009 was 26:1. Minnesota higher education institutions, school districts, state and local governments and students have achieved cost savings of $28.8 million since joining the compact in 1991 by using MHEC's cost savings and student exchange programs.

Committee members learned about a new initiative, The Midwest Credential Repository for Education, Skills, and Training, or CREST, which is intended to accelerate degree completion through improved mobility, transferability, and application of credits and credentials. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded MHEC $100,000 to explore the creation of a multi-state credential repository to reduce student time to degree and promote the completion of degrees in progress or on hold.

Senate higher education committee members also heard from Minnesota State Colleges and Universities about the system's purchasing procedures. Steve Gednalske, System Director of Tax & Financial Services and Michael Noble-Olson, Purchasing Manager at Minneapolis Community & Technical College, explained to members about the system's Collaborative Sourcing Team, or CST. The mission statement of the team is to collaborate to seek innovative strategic sourcing solutions to achieve sustainability and best value by leveraging the system's buying power. The team includes representation from system institutions and the Office of the Chancellor. Gednalske provided an example of a benefit gained. The team was able to obtain quality mattresses at reduced prices through a contract that is used by all campuses with dorms.

Committee members also heard from Richard Pfutzenreuter, CFO at the University of Minnesota and Lori Lamb, Vice Chancellor for Human Resources with Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. Both Pfutzenreuter and Lamb shared information regarding personnel reductions, salaries, contracts and furloughs with the committee. Lamb testified that the system is concerned about proportionality of personnel reductions and review it regularly. Lamb said that reductions are proportional and do not affect any one unit more than another.

Today at the Capitol

8:30 AM
House K-12 Education Policy and Oversight
Room: Basement State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Carlos Mariani
  • HF3421 (Mariani) High school assessments established to determine college and career readiness.

8:30 AM
Senate E-12 Education Budget and Policy Division
Room: 112 Capitol
Chair: Sen. LeRoy A. Stumpf
  • S.F. 3045-Wiger: Prekindergarten through grade 12 education policy provisions modifications; general education, education excellence, special programs and early childhood education.

  • S.F. 3087-Senjem: Student maltreatment parent notification requirements modifications; disciplined teachers mental health screening requirement; teaching license revocations; mandatory child maltreatment reporting district policy development requirement.

  • S.F. 3131-Clark: Early childhood education and care advisory council statewide school readiness report card creation and implementation recommendations.

  • S.F. 3119-Rummel: Early childhood education and care advisory council membership and duties modifications.

11:00 AM
Senate in Session

12:30 PM
House in Session

12:30 PM
Senate State Government Budget Division
Room: 112 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Don Betzold
  • S.F. 2858-Robling: State agency deposit receipts amount requirement change; state employee combined charities campaign use of fees clarification.
  • S.F. 3096-Robling: State owned buildings disposal process.
  • S.F. 2188-Betzold: State webmaster position establishment and appointment; state chief information officer policy and report development requirements.

3:00 PM
Senate State and Local Government Operations and Oversight
Room: 123 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Ann H. Rest
  • S.F. 2698-Koch: Graduation required assessment for diploma (GRAD) retake requirement modification.
  • S.F. 3028-Stumpf: Pre-kindergarten through grade 12 education appropriations and appropriation reductions.
  • S.F. 3002-Bonoff: School desegregation and integration advisory task force establishment.
  • S.F. 2967-Sparks: Mower county office of recorder appointment provisions authorization.
  • S.F. 3013-Olson, M.: Explore Minnesota tourism council representation modification.
  • S.F. 1682-Fobbe: Revisor of statutes free state publications recipients survey requirement.
  • S.F. 2918-Betzold: Volunteer fire relief associations break-in-service, deferred compensation plan transfers, inactive member credits, ancillary benefits, bylaws amendments, annuity purchase and special fund disbursement provisions modifications; surviving spouse.
  • S.F. 2925-Rest: Metropolitan area treatment works and interceptor reserved capacity costs allocations provisions modifications.
  • S.F. 3005-Clark: Metropolitan council best value contracts and procurement for transit vehicles authorization.

6:30 PM
House Ways and Means
Room: 5 State Office Building
  • Budget Resolution;
  • HF1671 (Carlson) Supplemental budget bill; state government funding provided for state agencies, departments, and commissions, and various other state government provisions modified, bonds issued, and money appropriated;
  • HF802 (Murphy) Mental health urgent care and psychiatric consultation required, hospital payment rates reduced, covered services changed, transfers allowed, general assistance medical care program created, transitional MinnesotaCare coverage provided, coordinated care delivery systems required, temporary uncompensated care pool and prescription drug pool created, and money appropriated.

Looking Ahead

Thursday, March 18

8:30 AM
Senate Taxes
Room: 15 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Thomas M. Bakk
*** SF3223 Added ***
  • S.F. 2926-Saxhaug: Cohasset tax increment usage for city repayment authorization.
  • S.F. 2970-Saltzman: Landfall Village tax increment financing (TIF) district duration extension.
  • S.F. 3056-Fischbach: Sauk Rapids tax increment financing (TIF) district extension.
  • S.F. 2938-Wiger: Oakdale tax increment financing (TIF) district duration extension.
  • S.F. 2829-Foley: Coon Rapids tax increment financing (TIF) districts duration extension.
  • S.F. 2480-Stumpf: East Grand Forks tax increment financing (TIF) use authorization; tourism facilities financing modifications.
  • S.F. 2987-Murphy: St. Charles tax increment financing (TIF) district establishment; sales tax exemption for construction materials for new and expanding businesses.
  • S.F. 2255-Rest: Tax increment financing (TIF) districts modification; Brooklyn Park, St. Paul and Fridley housing replacement provisions authorization.
  • S.F. 2467-Moua: St. Paul tax increment financing (TIF) district expenditure special rules provision.
  • S.F. 3223-Cohen: Supplemental appropriations and reductions for higher education, environment, natural resources, energy, agriculture, veterans affairs, economic development, transportation, public safety, judiciary and state government.
8:30 AM
House State and Local Government Operations Reform, Technology and Elections
Room: 200 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Gene Pelowski
  • HF2952 (Murphy) State employees retirement plan contribution rates increased,interest rates on refunds and certain benefit accrual rates reduced, vesting requirements and early retirement reduction rates increased, and certain amortization periods extended.
  • HF3281 (Murphy) Volunteer fire relief associations technical corrections made, break-in-service return revised, Minnesota deferred compensation plan service pension transfers authorized, payout defaults revised in survivor benefits, and corrections of certain special fund deposits authorized.
  • Recommendations from the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement.

10:30 AM
House in Session

12:30 PM
Senate Higher Education Budget and Policy Division
Room: 123 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Sandra L. Pappas
  • Budget Plan Report (March 15th Report)
  • Discussion on absence of federal stimulus funds
  • OLA Reports: Workforce Programs (MnSCU item); MnSCU Occupational Programs
  • Program Closure Discussion
  • S.F. 3205-Bonoff: College textbook price availability to students requirement.

1:00 PM
House Higher Education and Workforce Development Finance and Policy Division
Room: 5 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Tom Rukavina
  • HF3629 (Poppe) Minnesota State Colleges and Universities reorganized, salaries adjusted, central office established, and age increased for free classes.
  • HF3533 (Rukavina) Joint powers agreements may not circumvent or impinge upon the rights of employees covered by certain collective bargaining agreements.
  • Other bills may be added

2:45 PM
House State Government Operations
Room: 5 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Phyllis Kahn
  • HF2577 (Carlson) Legislators allowed to call a special session, and constitutional amendment proposed.
  • HF2755 (Swails) Voting equipment and vote-counting equipment grant funding provided, grant terms and procedures specified, and money appropriated.
  • HF2690 (Sertich) Executive agency appropriations required to include proportionate reductions in expenditures on contracts, and requirements provided during periods of projected deficits.
  • HF2866 (Carlson) Executive branch authority modified to reduce unexpended allotments.
  • HF3073 (Carlson) Amount of agency deposit receipts made technical changes, and use of fees clarified in the combined charities campaign.
  • HF3205 (Mahoney) Preference created for community banks and credit unions for the state's general revenue account, state depository accounts required to be held in community banks or credit unions, and a study required of possible further use of community banks and credit unions by the state and municipalities.
  • HF3589 (Kath) Contracts for professional or technical services reporting threshold reduced.

2:45 PM
House Education K-12 Finance
Room: 10 State Office Building
  • HF3043 (Kalin) Computer-adaptive assessments provided for general education students.
  • HF3267 (Newton) Advisory task force established on school desegregation and integration.
  • HF3163 (Mariani) Prekindergarten through grade 12 funding provided, including general education, education excellence, special programs, and early childhood education.

Bill Introductions

For the most recent bill introductions, please see the our spreadsheet listing.

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