Since the legislature adjourned the regular legislative session on May 17, legislators and the governor have been negotiating the details of the FY 22-23 state budget bills. The bipartisan budget agreement only reflects the total amount they will spend on each budget area, leaving the budget and policy details up to committee working groups. As of today, only three of the fourteen working groups have posted at least a partial agreement.
Since the legislature adjourned the regular legislative session on May 17, legislators and the governor have been negotiating the details of the FY 22-23 state budget bills. As you will recall, before adjournment, Governor Walz, Senate Majority Leader Gazelka, and House Speaker Hortman announced they had reached a bipartisan budget agreement to fund the state budget which begins on July 1. The agreement only reflects the total amount they will spend on each budget area, leaving the budget and policy details up to committee working groups.
As each working group finalizes its budget and policy provisions, the agreements are posted for the public. As of today, only three of the fourteen working groups have posted at least a partial agreement. We anticipate that the remaining working groups will finalize their agreements in the coming days. We anticipate the legislature will begin consideration of the agreements made public so far when they return in special session on June 14 (see below).
Higher education agreement
As of this writing, the higher education working group is the only budget area to post a full agreement, meaning both the financial spreadsheet of spending decisions and the bill language itself are publicly posted. The legislature has not voted to approve this agreement, as of yet.
The higher education budget agreement provides an increase of $38 million in operations and maintenance funding for the University of Minnesota in FY22-23, or approximately 82% of the University’s official legislative request. The agreement also includes a one-time appropriation of $500,000 to the Natural Resources Research Institute. The total spending target allowed for higher education was $100 million.
Several provisions under consideration for the higher education budget bill were not included in the final agreement. This includes, among others, a request to reduce undergraduate tuition by 3%; a request for the University to provide one-time faculty COVID-19 risk stipends to instructors who taught in person during the spring 2021 semester; and a reduction in funding for Regenerative Medicine Minnesota, a collaborative partnership between the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic for regenerative medicine research, clinical translation, and commercialization.
Please note the higher education funding agreement and other budget bills are subject to change up until the legislature formally approves them in a special session, and the Governor signs it into law.
Yesterday, Governor Walz announced his intention to extend his peacetime emergency powers for another thirty days. Whenever a governor wishes to renew peacetime emergency powers outside of the regular legislative session, they must call a special legislative session every thirty days. Governor Walz is expected to call the legislature into a special session on Monday, June 14.
Procedurally, in each special session, all legislation must start over. Each budget agreement will need to be introduced as new legislation and go through the legislative process before the full House and Senate can take action. This allows for members of the legislature to offer amendments to alter the agreements during debate. It is expected that the special session could take at least three days - and likely much longer - if they are not able to reach agreement for all budget areas. Legislative leaders have said it is their intention to stay in special session until all of the budget bills are passed. In order to avoid a government shutdown, the budget bills must be passed by June 30.