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Today marks the beginning of the Minnesota Legislature’s Easter/Passover break. 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.
The Minnesota House of Representatives unveiled its higher education omnibus finance bill this week, and it includes $114 million for the University of Minnesota— $27 million above the University’s $87 million request.
On = March 22, Governor Walz released his revised budget recommendations for FY2020-21. Today, the House DFL majority released its budget targets. The House proposed a $304.9 million increase for higher education, which includes the University of Minnesota, Minnesota State, and the Office of Higher Education.
It’s first deadline week at the Minnesota State Capitol, with legislators from both bodies moving swiftly to advance their policy bills before the clock strikes midnight tonight. Bill deadlines winnow the number of bills moving forward for the remainder of the session, as well as identify additional priorities for the parties.
Today, Gov. Tim Walz announced his budget recommendations for the upcoming biennium. His recommendations include a $39.2 million increase for the University of Minnesota’s base budget, as well as an additional $150 million in general obligation bonds for infrastructure repairs at the University.
This week, the University presented its 2019 Capital Request both in the House Capital Investment Division and the Senate Higher Education Finance and Policy Committee. University officials presented facts, along with compelling stories about individual projects on the Twin Cities and Duluth campuses.
The State Capitol was awash with committee hearings this week as new and returning members began the important work of framing individual committee priorities, setting procedural rules, and learning about the work of the House and Senate’s 56 different legislative committees, subcommittees, and divisions. Traditionally, the first week of hearings involves overview presentations of each committee’s work and provides members with an opportunity to hear from nonpartisan staff and state agencies or other institutions over which the committees maintain jurisdiction.
As the shutdown begins its fourth week, we want to let you know the impact on the University of Minnesota. Our thanks to colleagues across the University for keeping a close eye on the situation. Please check for updates SPA has received from affected agencies.
At noon today, the Minnesota House and Senate gaveled in the 91st legislative session, electing Rep. Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) and Rep. Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) as speaker and House minority leader, respectively. This follows yesterday’s inauguration at the Fitzgerald Theater of Minnesota’s 41st governor, Tim Walz, and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan.
Moving quickly to assemble leadership posts, both the Minnesota House and Senate members-elect chose their leadership yesterday and today in the first steps toward forming their overall governing structure and priorities.