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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Connie Bernardy (DFL)

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ADVISORY: Higher Education Conference Committee Co-Chair Bernardy Announces Public Hearing

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

SAINT PAUL, Minn. — The joint House/Senate Conference Committee tasked with developing a compromise state Higher Education budget will meet today, May 8 at 2:00 p.m. The meeting, chaired by Rep. Connie Bernardy (DFL – New Brighton), will include an overview of language that is the same or similar in both budgets and public testimony from Minnesota students, families, and teachers.

“Minnesotans from all backgrounds deserve the opportunity to earn a quality post-secondary education,” said Rep. Bernardy. “The House Higher Education budget fully funds a tuition freeze, expands eligibility for grants, and eases the financial burden on students and working families.”

WHAT: Public hearing of the House/Senate Conference Committee on the Higher Education budget, SF 2415
WHO: Rep. Connie Bernardy (DFL – New Brighton), committee members
WHERE: Room 123, Minnesota State Capitol 
WHEN: Wednesday, May 8 at 2:00 p.m.  

The House Higher Education budget freezes tuition at Minnesota’s two- and four-year public colleges and universities. As a result, tens of thousands of students would not pay one penny more in tuition for two years. The budget also increases financial support for working families by investing in the state grant program. Full-time students who are currently enrolled in the program would receive on average more than $400 in financial assistance per year, and more than 6,000 Minnesotans would become eligible for the first time.

The Senate Republican Higher Education budget doesn’t provide adequate funding for Minnesota colleges and universities. Colleges would have to increase tuition in order to close funding gaps. It doesn’t provide the resources needed to deliver the opportunities and support students currently receive. As a result, colleges and universities would be forced to cut student support, programming, outreach efforts, and research opportunities.