This week was one of the busiest weeks at the Capitol so far. I am the chairman of the Higher Education committee and the budget bill we proposed was voted on and passed on the House floor this week. Below is a press release I sent out in regards to it.
Rep. Bud Nornes Proposed Higher Education Bill Passes on the House Floor
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. The budget 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.”
The 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.
As always if you have any questions or need help with anything, please don’t hesitate to contact my office.
I appreciate your input so don’t forget to fill out my legislative survey or you can find an electronic version here. www.surveymonkey.com/10Asurvey
Visitors continue to come to the capitol to take tours and visit with local legislators. I would encourage folks to come to the Capitol for a visit. Please contact my assistant Chelsea Thompson to schedule a tour and visit by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can reach her by phone at 651-296-4946 or 800-336-8017.