Third legislative deadline passes
Today marks the beginning of the Minnesota Legislature’s Easter/Passover break. Members of the House and Senate are back in their districts for the week to observe the holidays as well as take a step away from the flurry of activity at the Capitol. Legislative activity will resume on April 23.
All omnibus budget bills have now passed out of their respective committees, per the legislative deadlines. Several bills have also advanced through House Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committee, and are now awaiting action by either the full House or Senate.
These bills include the House higher education omnibus bill (on the House floor) and the Senate higher education omnibus bill (in the Senate Finance Committee). The Senate released its omnibus budget bill on April 8, with markup and passage on April 11. The bill includes $24 million in new funding for the University for operations and maintenance, as well as $4.5 million for two items not requested by the Board of Regents. The bill mandates that, for Minnesota resident undergraduates, the University hold tuition at no more than a 2 percent increase above the current rate. The governor recommends a $50.1 million increase for the University and the House has recommended a $114 million increase.
Last week the House also released its capital investment bill. With a budget target of $1.5 billion, the bill provides $150 million for University projects. This includes $117.7 million for HEAPR, $28 million for the Institute of Child Development Building Replacement on the Twin Cities campus, and $4.3 million for the A.B. Anderson Hall Renovation on the Duluth campus. The House Capital Investment Committee approved this bill on April 11, and the bill now awaits further action in the House Ways and Means Committee. The governor recommends $150 million in bonding for the University. The Senate has yet to release a bonding bill.
View a comparison of the budget and capital proposals.
There are many financial and policy differences between the House, Senate, and governor within their budget bills and recommendations. Some bills are hundreds of millions of dollars apart. And with only five full weeks remaining before the constitutionally mandated adjournment date of May 20, much is left to complete. We encourage you to remain engaged with your elected officials and make your voice heard.