Higher Education Omnibus Bill Passes Senate

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Higher Education Omnibus bill passed off the Senate floor on Monday, April 20 and will move into Conference Committee next week. The Senate’s $3.1 billion proposal provides a comprehensive framework to serve Minnesota post-secondary students.

The Vice-Chair of the Higher Education Committee, Sen. Greg Clausen (DFL-Apple Valley), commented on the legislation. “We worked hard to put together a bipartisan agreement that is fair and serves our students well,” Sen. Clausen said. “This is a strong bill that delivers on the promise to keep higher education affordable while investing in technical training to meet our businesses growing workforce needs.”

Important provisions include:

Office of Higher Education (OHE): $504.1 million in FY2016-17. This includes $353.5 million for the State Grant Program, which will increase the grants of 80,000 Minnesota students. Senator Clausen’s Pathways to Postsecondary initiative also receives funding to ensure that high school students have the opportunity to take college level classes in their high schools, saving money to students across the state and bridging the gap between high school and college. Additionally, the bill includes a Senator Stumpf initiative that provides $24.36 million to pay for two years of tuition at Minnesota technical colleges for recent high school graduates, boosting Minnesota’s skilled workforce.

University of Minnesota: $1.289 billion in FY2016-17. This includes $60 million to keep student tuition costs low for middle-class families. It also includes a $25 million investment to train the next generation of health care professionals at the U of M Medical School to ensure the Medical School’s national prominence. It also strengthens sexual assault policies at the U of M through a bipartisan provision co-authored by Senator Clausen. Additionally, 5 percent of the 2017 appropriation is tied to performance metrics, and is prorated to reflect the progress the institution makes towards these goals.

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities: $1.306 billion in FY2016-17. This includes $58.7 million to help keep tuition costs low for Minnesota’s students. With Senator Clausen’s leadership, this bill commits to decreasing the use of remediation which leads to unnecessary high costs to students and decreases the number of students who are able to complete college on time. To help address growing needs in Minnesota’s agriculture education, funding will support loan forgiveness for agriculture teachers and provide classes for veterans to pursue opportunities in agriculture. Additionally, 5 percent of the 2017 appropriation is tied to performance metrics, and is prorated to reflect the progress the institution makes towards these goals.

For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact Sen. Greg Clausen at 651-296-4120 or by email at sen.greg.clausen@senate.mn.
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Senator Greg Clausen
Greg Clausen lives in Apple Valley and represents District 57 in the southern Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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