Monday, April 16, 2018

House Budget Targets Announced.  

Late last week, the House of Representatives passed its budget resolution outlining the budget targets for each of the programmatic categories in this year's budget and there weren't a whole lot of surprises.  The budget targets are outlined below:

  • $107.45 million in tax relief, including simplification of state taxes;
  • $101 million for road and bridge repairs;
  • $50.6 million to address a variety of issues, including pension woes;
  • $30.23 million for student safety through school safety improvements and mental health programming;
  • $15 million for expanded broadband internet across the state;
  • $10 million to prevent a 7 percent cut to people caring for Minnesota’s disabled community through the Disability Waiver Rate System;
  • $7.12 million for public safety;
  • $5 million for higher education;
  • $750,000 to address chronic wasting disease; and
  • $250,000 to support mental health counseling for farmers.
There is a little bit of dissonance existing between the level of funding for school safety--$50 million--announced by House Republican leadership last week and the House education budget target of $30 million, but it needs to be pointed out that the $50 million referenced at that event includes all of the money throughout the budget that will be dedicated to school safety and that there are likely initiatives that will come from other targets.  One rumor that is circulating is that there will be an amount set aside in the bonding bill to fund a competitive building project program that would funnel dollars to the districts that are most in need to safety-related facilities upgrades.  The House E-12 funding bill will be unveiled tomorrow and more details will be known at that time.

Here is a copy of the House budget resolution, which passed out of the House Ways and Means Committee on an 18-6 vote:  House Budget Resolution

And here is a story from the Session Daily published by the House Public Information Office on the resolution:  Tax relief focus of House budget targets

Senate E-12 Funding Bill Released.  The Senate Education Finance Committee presented its version of the omnibus education funding bill today in a delete-all amendment to SF 3928.  Unlike the House, where there is a strict formal budget resolution, the Senate sets targets for each committee that may be more malleable in the policy development process.  That said, the Senate is actually proposing to spend less in the coming fiscal year than the amount contained in the House budget resolution; approximately $20 million to the House's $30 million.

The funding highlights of the bill include:
  • $19.8 million in aid for school safety in FY 19 (next school year).  Additional $15/PU for FY 19.  Additional $3.51/PU ($7.50 for districts in an intermediate district) for following fiscal years.
  • $800,000 in a special education aid adjustment for the Monticello School District (provided money to transfer from the Minnesota Department of Education's litigation fund is available).
  • $750,000 grant program to promote character education.
  • $440,000 to two programs to promote equity and expand access to school telecommunications.
  • $273,000 for suicide prevention training for teachers.
  • $250,000 to the Sanneh Foundation to help close the achievement gap.
  • $125,000 for a grant to develop online access to music education.
  • $100,000 for the Race 2 Reduce water conservation curriculum program.
  • $47,000 for the Children's Museum of Grand Rapids.
The bill also contains the academic balance provision contained in Senator Nelson's SF 2487.  There have been some changes in the language, which is found in Article 3, Section 1, of the SF 3928.

Here are the documents that accompanied the release of the Senate's omnibus education funding bill.
Amendments will be discussed in committee on Wednesday, April 18, with the bill being passed out of committee at that meeting.  The deadline for all funding bills to be out of their respective funding committees is Friday, April 20.

Bill Introductions

Even past deadlines, the beat of bill introductions goes on!


Thursday, April 12

SF 3926--Wiger--Provides for online special education reporting system.
SF 3927--Relph--Grant to St. Cloud school district for development of leadership skills and cultural knowledge.
SF 3928--Nelson--Omnibus Education Funding Bill (Delete-all adopted on Monday, April 16, as reported above is current bill language.  This is original bill language which has been replaced.).
SF 3953--Nelson--Codifies teacher code of ethics.
SF 3962--Bigham--Requires school district threat assessment teams.
SF 3966--Chamberlain--Continues facilities levy authority for members of TIES.

Monday, April 16

SF 3977--Wiger--Narrows exemption for opting out of vaccinations to religious beliefs only.


Thursday, April 12

HF 4352--Torkelson--Appropriates money for an agriculturally-based STEM program.
HF 4356--Haley--Waives surplus property fees for school districts and state colleges and universities.
HF 4372--Loon--Sets forecast adjustments for E-12 budget amounts.
HF 4382--Davnie--Provides for online special education reporting system.
HF 4384--Peterson--Provides transportation for certain pregnant teens or teen parents.
HF 4387--Wills--Creates grant program for school resource officer training.
HF 4393--Jurrgens--Creates school hot lunch grant program for students who do not qualify for free or reduced price lunch.

Monday, April 16

HF 4406--Lillie--Narrows exemption for opting out of vaccinations to religious beliefs only.
HF 4414--Urdahl--Appropriates money for the repurposing of the Cosmos Elementary School.
HF 4421--Schomacker--Authorizes fund transfer for Ivanhoe school district.

No comments: