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Today marks the final committee deadline at the state legislature, meaning all policy and finance bills must have received an affirmative vote in committee or are no longer viable.
Yesterday, the House Republican majority released its budget "targets" for the 2018 session. The targets guide spending decisions by the legislature. The Senate Republican majority has not yet introduced its own budget targets reflecting its priorities. Minnesota Management and Budget projected a $329 million surplus for the state.
This week, the University of Minnesota presented its supplemental budget request before the House and Senate higher education committees. The request is $10 million recurring in the base budget to allow the University to hold tuition flat for in-state undergraduates on all system campuses in the 2018-19 academic year. President Eric Kaler, Vice President for Finance and Operations Brian Burnett, and several undergraduate students testified in this week's hearings. We now await the legislature's budget "targets" to determine if there will be any additional resources available for higher education and other budget areas.
Late last week, Congress completed work on an omnibus appropriations bill to finalize funding for federal FY18 and avoid another government shutdown.
On Friday, March 16, Governor Dayton announced his supplemental budget recommendations for the FY18-19 biennium. The governor's recommendations include $10 million for the University of Minnesota to hold tuition flat for undergraduate residents in the 2018-2019 academic year, as requested by the Board of Regents.
On March 8, the Board of Regents approved a $10 million supplemental budget request to submit to the state. The University of Minnesota will use this funding, if approved by the legislature and signed into law by the governor, to hold tuition flat in academic year 2018-19 for resident undergraduate students at all five University campuses. This will save approximately 31,500 students $200-250 next year.
The first full week of the Minnesota legislative session brought plenty of activity, including the release of the state budget forecast, a hearing on the University of Minnesota's capital request, and the announcement of committee policy deadlines.
On Tuesday, February 20, the Minnesota State Legislature reconvened in Saint Paul to begin the 2018 legislative session.
The past week has been particularly busy in our nation's Capitol, with Congress grappling with finishing Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 appropriations, the Trump Administration launching its budget for FY19, and the Senate debating immigration in earnest.
Today, Governor Dayton announced his capital infrastructure bonding recommendations for the 2018 session. In his recommendations, he included nearly $300 million for the University of Minnesota.