Tuesday, May 4, 2010

House passes higher education policy bill; Schedule posted

Yesterday at the Capitol

The full House passed the higher education policy bill by a vote of 98-31 yesterday afternoon. Discussion on the bill began with the author of the bill Rep. Tom Rukavina, DFL-Virginia, presenting a technical amendment to the bill which was adopted. Rep. Sarah Anderson, R-Plymouth, offered an amendment on the pilot project language that would establish up to 8 institutions in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system to invest some campus reserves in a local bank. Rep. Anderson said the amendment would ensure the interest rate paid on deposits in local banks must be at least equal to the rate paid on campus reserves deposited in the state treasury. The amendment did not pass by a vote of 45-83.

Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, offered an amendment to allow alcohol to be served in premier seating at the University of Minnesota sports arenas. After much discussion, the amendment did not pass. However, the Senate has included this provision in their version of the higher education policy bill.

As a reminder, the House bill includes the provisions included in the first policy bill plus provisions from other bills heard in committee. There is language that raises the age of senior citizen in statute from 62 to 66 to receive a tuition discount; caps the onetime grant for high school-to-college developmental transition program at $1 million; and establishes the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities central system office and provides for general duties of the office.

The supplemental budget bill signed by the governor raised the revenue fund authority in statute from $200 million to $300 million. The policy bill brings that authority increase down to $275 million. There is language in the bill that requires the system along with the Chamber of Commerce, and representatives of industry groups and labor unions to study program requirements for certificates and diplomas awarded by the system to determine the feasibility of designing technical education programs to allow students to have more opportunities to earn credentials with lower credit requirements that could be combined into higher level certificates or diplomas.

There is also a provision that requires the system office to streamline services provided through the office to reduce expenditures, better target 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 institution level.

There is language on credit transfer, postretirement health insurance premium reimbursements and a provision that states the system office cannot pass through any reductions made to the office to the institutions.

And also included is language that the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and the University of Minnesota shall study nanotechnology research and education and report to the Legislature on ways nanotechnology is used responsibly and safely. There is also a provision that requires the Board of Trustess to establish a pilot project to develop partnerships and training and employment opportunities for surgical technologists at those institutions that offer a surgical technologist program.

You may find the House bill here.

You may find the Senate bill here.

The next step for this bill is conference committee where the House and Senate will work through the differences in the two bills. Stay tuned.

Today at the Capitol

8:30 AM
Senate E-12 Education Budget and Policy Division
Room: 112 Capitol
Chair: Sen. LeRoy A. Stumpf
Agenda: S.F. 3189-Stumpf: High school students statewide testing open-ended items inclusion.
S.F. 3189 A-3

8:30 AM *Meeting Canceled*
House Capital Investment Finance Division
Room: Basement State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Alice Hausman
Agenda: HF3678 (Clark) Challenge program for affordable housing and permanent supportive housing purposes funding provided, and bonds issued.
HF3725 (Marquart) Mortgage registry tax and deed tax proceed portion appropriated to the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency to be used for creation of affordable housing units.
Second Order Amending Order of Commissioner of Finance
Relating to Use and Sale of State Bond Financed Property, MMB
Meeting Documents: revised commissioner's order on section 16A.69

8:45 AM
Senate in Session

9:00 AM
House in Session

1:00 PM
Joint Meeting: Committee on Health, Housing and Family Security; Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection
Room: 112 Capitol
Chairs: Sen. John Marty, Sen. Linda Scheid
Federal Health Care Reform Briefing
S.F. 3369-Olson, M.: Minnesota health benefits purchasing pool association establishment--DISCUSSION ONLY.
S.F. 3397-Erickson Ropes: Minnesota state colleges and universities (MnSCU) clinical coordination project appropriation. DISCUSSION ONLY.

2:30 PM
Senate Finance
Room: 123 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Richard J. Cohen
S.F. 3318-Dibble: Energy improvement financing program provisions modification.
S.F. 3043-Vandeveer: Minnesota Appraisal Management Company Licensing and Regulation Act; real estate appraiser advisory board modification.
H.F. 3056-Lourey: Health provider peer grouping timelines and system modification.
S.F. 2337-Berglin: Intensive care management program for medical assistance (MA) enrollees establishment.
S.F. 3063-Stumpf: Career and technical education levy formula adjustment.
S.F. 3028-Stumpf: Pre-kindergarten through grade 12 education appropriations and appropriation reductions.
S.F. 3064-Stumpf: Northwestern Online College in the high school program appropriations.

3:00 PM (or after the Tuesday floor session whichever is later)
House Taxes
Room: 10 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Ann Lenczewski
HF2431 (Greiling) Omnibus K-12 education bill

Looking Ahead

Wednesday, May 5

8:30 AM
House K-12 Education Policy
Room: 10 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Carlos Mariani
Agenda: Federal School Improvement Grants and Minnesota's list of "Persistently Lowest-Achieving Schools"

8:30 AM
House State and Local Government Operations Reform, Technology and Elections
Room: 200 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Gene Pelowski
Agenda: (Marquart) Board of Innovation reestablished, powers and duties imposed, and money appropriated.

12:00 PM
House in Session

2:00 PM
House Ways and Means
Room: 5 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Loren Solberg
HF2431 (Greiling) Omnibus K-12 Education bill
HF3051 (Dill) Acquired stream easement modified; state forest boundaries provided; property exemption provided; state forest provisions modified; exchange of lands permitted within the BWCA; public access acquisition moratorium established; Lake Vermilion State Park acquisition provided, state parks and forests added to and deleted from; and public and private sales, conveyances, and exchanges authorized.
HF3124 (Dill) Aquaculture provisions modified, provisions for taking, possessing, and transporting wild animals modified, fish and wildlife management plans requirements modified, and game and fish license provisions modified.

3:00 PM
Senate Economic Development and Housing Budget Division
Room: 107 Capitol
Chair: Sen. David J. Tomassoni
S.F. 3304-Cohen: Housing finance agency (HFA) affordable housing projects funding with mortgage registry tax and deed tax proceeds.
S.F. 3355-Tomassoni: Higher education securities transactions exemptions modifications; state grant program for secondary education appropriation.

Thursday, May 6

9:00 AM
Senate Taxes
Room: 15 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Thomas M. Bakk
S.F. 3063-Stumpf: Career and technical education levy formula adjustment.
S.F. 3028-Stumpf: Pre-kindergarten through grade 12 education appropriations and appropriation reductions.

12:00 PM
House in Session

Tuesday, May 11
12:30 PM
Senate Higher Education Budget and Policy Division
Room: 123 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Sandra L. Pappas
University District Alliance report
HEFA confirmations

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