March, the busiest month of the legislative session has passed! Here are the highlights of what LeadMN has been working on at the State Capitol over the past month.
Emergency Assistance for Postsecondary Students (March 11th)
LeadMN Public Relations Coordinator, Madison Sauke, testified in support of SF1977, legislation to provide funding for Emergency Assistance grant programs.
LeadMN Mental Health Program, Z-Degrees, and Online Differential Tuition Refund (March 16th)
LeadMN Vice President, Axel Kylander, testified in support of SF2001, LeadMN’s legislation to create a Mental Health Awareness program at every college. Vice President Kylander also testified on SF2065, legislation to expand Z-Degrees to an additional six colleges. LeadMN President, Priscilla Mayowa, testified in support of SF2101, legislation to refund students if they were charged online differential tuition for a class that was moved temporarily in person during the pandemic. This legislation would refund the difference in tuition between the in-person tuition rate and the online tuition rate.
Hunger Free Campus Act Expansion and Funding (March 16th)
LeadMN President, Priscilla Mayowa, testified on HF1708, legislation to provide grant funding for colleges to achieve and maintain the Hunger Free Campus Act and to expand the Hunger Free Campus Act to public and private universities .
Senate Higher Education Omnibus Bill (April 6th)
LeadMN President Priscilla Mayowa testified on the Senate Higher Education omnibus bill. This legislation includes the mental health and basic needs legislation that LeadMN worked to introduce this session. It also includes a 5% tuition reduction, additional funding for workforce scholarships, funding for the Hunger Free Campus Act, and funding for more Z-Degrees. More details can be found below.
Senate and House Higher Education Omnibus Bills
This week both the Senate and House higher education committees will hear their omnibus finance and policy bills for Fiscal Year 2022 and Fiscal Year 2023. Provided is a brief summary of some of the provisions. To see all of the provisions included, see the links provided below.
Mental Health and Basic Needs Support
Senate: Mental Health: $1.5 million (FY22) Of this, $500,000 must go to training for faculty and staff. $200,000 must go to a peer support pilot program. LeadMN’s College Mental Health Awareness Act is included in this.
House: $1.25 million (FY22 and FY23) for support students in meeting mental health and basic needs.
Hunger Free Campus Act
Senate: $200,000 (FY22) $84,000 (FY23) Expands Hunger Free Campus eligibility to public and private universities.
House: $275,000 (FY22) $150,000 (FY23) Expands Hunger Free Campus eligibility to public and private universities.
Senate: $1 million (FY22) $141,000 (FY23) Eight additional colleges must offer a Z-Degree by the 2022-23 academic year.
House: $500,000 (FY22 and FY23) Two additional colleges must offer a Z-Degree by 2023-24 academic year.
Senate: 5% reduction in tuition from the 2020-21 academic year for FY22 and FY23
House: Tuition frozen for FY22 and FY23 at the 2020-21 academic year rate
Minnesota State Operations and Maintenance Funding
Senate: $738,545,000 (FY22) $735,186,000 (FY23)
House: $748,995,000 (FY22) $770,095,000 (FY23)
Online Differential Tuition Refund
Senate: Provides a tuition credit to enrolled students and a refund to students no longer enrolled for the online differential tuition rate charged during the 2020-21 academic year for classes that were not online in the previous academic year.
Emergency Assistance for Postsecondary Student (EAPS) grants
Senate: $175,000 (FY22 and FY23)
House: $825,000 (FY22 and FY23)
Supplemental Aid to Rural Two-Year Colleges
Senate: $5.7 million (FY22 and FY23)
House: $3 million (FY22 and FY23)
Workforce Development Scholarships
Senate: $6 million (FY22 and FY23) Scholarships expanded to construction programs and other programs based on regional workforce need.
House: $4 million (FY22 and FY23)
NextGen (ISRS replacement)
Senate: $8 million (FY22 and FY23)
House: $8 million (FY22 and FY23)
Direct Admissions Program
Senate: $500,000 (FY22) $75,000 (FY23)
House: $925,000 (FY22) $75,000 (FY23)