Thursday, April 14, 2011

Governor hosts higher education round table; Schedules posted

Yesterday at the Capitol

A panel of higher education leaders, faculty, students and staff met yesterday at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul for Gov. Dayton's round table discussion on higher education. Dayton heard directly from students, faculty and administrators about the impact of the House and Senate proposed budget cuts, and discussed the future of higher education. Chancellor Jim McCormick said that studies show by 2018, 70 percent of jobs in Minnesota will require postsecondary education, and the current degrees and certificates will not be enough for the country to advance globally. He said more people need to obtain degrees.

Other round table speakers included Minnesota State University Student Association Chair Andrew Spaeth who said he's concerned about the future of Minnesota if the legislative proposed budget cuts are enacted. Spaeth also said that the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system is one of the most efficient systems in the country already.

President of Metropolitan State University Sue Hammersmith said there is a direct relationship between the disinvestment on the part of the state and the increasing tuition burden on the students. President Terry Leas of Riverland Community College said decisions will have to be made, whether it's closing programs to balance the budget or cut off access. Leas said his college has nationally recognized programs, yet they will have to choose among them when deciding what to cut. Metropolitan State University professor Monte Bute said higher education is a public good and told Gov. Dayton that if he stands up for the public good, there are many Minnesotans who will as well.

Gov. Dayton said the round table discussion gave him a strengthening of his resolve to stand firm on minimal cuts, and resist the deeper cuts being proposed in the House and Senate bills. Conferees will begin discussing the two higher education finance bills today at 12:30 p.m.

Today at the Capitol

8:15 AM
House State Government Finance
Room: 200 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Morrie Lanning
Agenda: HF210 (Kiffmeyer) Voter picture identification required before receiving a ballot, identification cards provided at no charge, provisional ballot procedures established, election administration procedures specified, electronic polling place required, recount procedures enacted, and money appropriated.
No public testimony.

8:15 AM
House Education Reform
Room: Basement State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Sondra Erickson
SF170 (Kieffer) Teacher candidates required to pass basic skills exam.
HF966 (Mariani) Teacher Tenure Act modified for school districts located in a city of the first class.
HF563 (Moran) School board creation of full-service school zones authorized.

10:15 AM
House Government Operations and Elections
Room: 5 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Joyce Peppin
HF1376 (Leidiger) E-Verify use required by state contractors.
HF1036 (Sanders) State passenger vehicle fleet management and consolidation provided.
HF1205 (Holberg) County park fee restriction modified.
HF1411 (Kahn) Geospatial advisory council provisions changed and expiration date extended.
HF1269 (McFarlane) Campaign finance and public disclosure law definition of "public official" changed.
HF554 (Johnson) Mississippi River Parkway Commission expiration date changed.

11:00 AM
Senate in Session

12:30 PM
Conference Committee on H.F. 1101: higher education finance bill
SENATE: Fischbach; Robling; Senjem; Carlson; Brown
HOUSE: Nornes; Dettmer; Daudt; Hancock; Mazorol
Room: 300N State Office Bldg.
Chairs: Sen. Michelle L. Fischbach and Rep. Bud Nornes
Agenda: Summary and Discussion of House and Senate Language and Appropriation Differences

12:30 PM (or 15 minutes after session)
Conference Committee on S.F. 1030: K-12 Education finance bill
SENATE: Olson; Nelson; Thompson; Kruse; Wolf
HOUSE: Garofalo; Kelly; Doepke; Fabian; Erickson
Room: 5 State Office Bldg.
Chairs: Sen. Gen Olson and Rep. Pat Garofalo
Agenda: S.F. 1030-Olson, G.: Omnibus early childhood through grade 12 education policy provisions modifications and appropriations.

3:00 PM
House in Session

3:00 PM
Senate Education
Room 112 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Gen Olson
S.F. 768-Thompson: Probationary teacher and principal status requirements clarification.
S.F. 781-Harrington: Teacher Tenure Act for school districts located in first class cities modification.
S.F. 1022-Nelson: School district principals annual performance-based evaluation system establishment.

5:30 PM or 30 minutes after session
Conference Committee on S.F. 1047: state government finance bill
SENATE: Parry; Gazelka; Thompson; Daley; Vandeveer
HOUSE: Lanning; Downey; Benson; Stensrud; Anderson
Room: 200 State Office Bldg.
Chairs: Sen. Mike Parry and Rep. Morrie Lanning
S.F. 1047-Parry: Omnibus state government, military affairs and veterans affairs appropriations; Minnesota Sunset Act.

Looking Ahead

At this time there are no higher education related committee hearings scheduled for Friday or into next week. Given that schedules are fluid right now, we can expect to see hearings scheduled soon.

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