Friday, February 25, 2011

System presents budget to House; Trustees to be confirmed next week

Yesterday at the Capitol

House Higher Education committee members heard from folks with the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities about the system's budget and the impact of further cuts. CFO at Central Lakes College Kari Christiansen said they have had an extensive consultation process on campus planning for $1.2 million to $2.4 million in cuts. She said they are looking at a variety of ways to solve the reduction, including layoffs, program suspensions, operating budget reductions and some type of tuition increase.

Chancellor Jim McCormick and CFO and Vice Chancellor of Finance Laura King, said if the system took a 15 percent reduction, a cut of that magnitude would have an enormous impact. If solved with just reductions to staff, McCormick said it would mean almost 1,000 full-time staff people. If solved with just faculty reductions, McCormick said it would mean 880 faculty, which means the reduction of 9,200 course sections; a reduction of 166,500 credit registrations; and a decrease in enrollment of more than 16,100 students. McCormick said if a 15 percent reduction to the system was solved with just tuition, it would mean an increase of 12 percent. They emphasized that a 15 percent reduction is the equivalent of closing two large universities, five of the largest colleges, or closing at least 10 of the smallest colleges in the system. Both Chancellor McCormick and Vice Chancellor King said obviously none of these solutions alone would be acceptable, but it gives committee members an idea of the impact a 15 percent reduction would have to the system.

Today at the Capitol

There are no higher education related hearings scheduled today.

House Republican leaders will hold their media briefing at 10:00 a.m. today, and Senate leadership will address the media at 10:30. DFL legislative leaders will respond immediately following.

Looking Ahead

Monday, February 28

11:30 AM
February Forecast released

4:00 PM
House State Government Finance
Room: 5 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Morrie Lanning
Agenda: Budget overview by Explore Minnesota Tourism
Budget overview by Administrative Hearings
HF577 (Lanning) Legal fees imposed by federal courts funding provided, reimbursement of expenses provided relating to the recount in the 2010 gubernatorial election, and money appropriated.
HF299 (Quam) Executive branch agency retained savings program established.
HF89 (Benson) Voter picture identification required before receiving a ballot, voter identification card provided at no charge, notice required, and provisional balloting procedure established.

3:00 PM
Senate Higher Education
Room: 107 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Michelle L. Fischbach
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Trustee Confirmations:
Trustee Duane Benson
Trustee Philip Krinkie
Trustee Alfredo Oliveira
Trustee Thomas Renier
Trustee Michael Vekich

3:00 PM
Senate Education
Room: 15 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Gen Olson
Agenda: A presentation by the Foundation for Excellence in Education

Tuesday, March 1

8:30 AM
Senate Finance
Room: 123 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Claire A. Robling
Presentation of February 2011 Economic Forecast:
Commissioner Jim Schowalter
Tom Stinson, State Economist
Margaret Kelly, Budget Director

10:30 AM
Senate Jobs and Economic Growth
Room: 107 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Geoff Michel
S.F. 1-Michel: Job creation; business tax reductions; department of natural resources (DNR) permitting efficiency; environmental review requirements modifications.

12:30 PM
House Higher Education Policy and Finance
Room: Basement Hearing Room
Chair: Rep. Bud Nornes
University of Minnesota Academic Health Center Presentation
Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics Presentation (University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic)

12:30 PM
House Jobs and Economic Development Finance
Room: 10 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Bob Gunther
Agenda: DEED budget overview
HF102 (Mahoney) Minnesota science and technology program established

3:00 PM
Senate Education
Room: 15 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Gen Olson
Agenda: S.F. 451-Stumpf: School districts career and technical levy formula modification; career and technical education academic credit requirement.

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