Friday, April 6, 2012

MnSCU Legislative Update

Lawmakers headed home yesterday after floor sessions for the Easter and Passover holidays. They will be in their home districts next week, returning to St. Paul on Monday, April 16 at noon. There are still outstanding bills to be addressed when legislators return, including the bonding bill and the higher education omnibus bill. I have attached the bonding bill comparison of the system’s request, governor’s recommendation and the House and Senate bills as a reminder. Recall that the House is proposing $56 million for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system in a $280 million total bill, while the Senate is proposing $127 million for the system in a $496 million bill.

A proposed constitutional amendment that would require voters to present photo identification in order to vote, passed its final hurdle on Wednesday and will be put to the people on this year’s November ballot. The Senate passed the bill yesterday, following House passage late Tuesday night. Democrats, who oppose the bill, said the bill is about voter disqualification. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, who opposes the bill, predicted the amendment would turn the state’s election system “upside down.” Republicans called the bill common sense and said it will help tighten Minnesota’s voting system, making sure voters are who they say they are.

Due to the legislative recess, you will not receive legislative updates next week. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns over the legislative break.

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