NORNES RE-APPOINTED AS HIGHER ED. CHAIRMAN
ST. PAUL – Rep. Bud Nornes, R-Fergus Falls, will remain the House's higher education chairman when Republicans continue their majority status in that body this January.
House Republicans on Tuesday announced Nornes accepted re-appointment to the Higher Education Policy and Finance Committee post, the second consecutive and fourth overall term he has held that position. He said a top priority of his will remain working to find balance between meeting demands of changing workforce – and helping close Minnesota’s employment gap – while providing students with opportunities to pursue their chosen careers.
Key higher education provisions Nornes led to enactment this year help students save money through reforms that reduce the need for remedial classes, as well as a measure to increase awareness of loan forgiveness programs. New law Nornes brought to fruition also expands higher education opportunities for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Nornes also successfully authored higher education legislation in 2015 to provide a tuition freeze in 2016 and a 1-percent reduction in 2017 for two-year schools. His bill also provides a tuition freeze in 2017 for four-year schools and limits 2016 increases to 3 percent.
Although higher education is a statewide issue, Nornes said the high number of colleges in and around District 8A bring this subject especially close to home.
“I continue to say that my top responsibility as higher ed. chair is to not only ensure funding for the state colleges and universities, but to meet challenges of all schools – including private institutions – so our students have a diverse set of quality options to consider,” Nornes said.
The 2017 legislative session is set to start Jan. 3 in St. Paul.