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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Bud Nornes (R)

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Rep. Bud Nornes Proposed Higher Education Bill Passes on the House Floor

Wednesday, March 30, 2011
St. Paul – Representative Bud Nornes, Chairman of the House Higher Education committee, proposed a budget bill that passed the House of Representatives late Tuesday evening. This bill focuses on students and continues to fully fund the State Grant Program, and includes no reduction to the Work Study Program, while maintaining postsecondary child care grants. The bill also aims to improve students ability to transfer credits within the MnSCU system. This bill also helps to create tuition controls by protecting students from unreasonable tuition increases and places an expectation on colleges and universities that tuition not increase. In the House bill, tuition increases for Minnesota resident undergraduates at MnSCU colleges are limited to 2 percent per year and 4 percent at universities. At the University of Minnesota the expectation is tuition increases for Minnesota resident undergraduates would stay under 5 percent per year in each of the two years of the biennium. This bill also encourages schools to offer “locked-in” tuition rates to students for their four years. “Students are our number one priority. We want to give our students the ability to achieve their dreams of higher education and not place undue burdens on them through unnecessary tuition increases,” said Rep. Nornes. “Our schools and students need the tools to provide and receive a great education in Minnesota.” This bill also provides accountability and reform for our colleges and universities. This bill sets performance benchmarks for the U of M and MnSCU, benchmarks must be met before the systems can receive a portion of their funding.
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