ST. PAUL, Minn – During a more than seven hour floor debate on Thursday, Sen. Roger Reinert (DFL-Duluth) successfully added two amendments onto the Senate’s $489 million budget bill. The first amendment directs the Department of Public Safety to evaluate potential locations for oil-related safety training for first responders. The second amendment calls on the University of Minnesota to provide the legislature additional information on how it constructs its budgeting for greater Minnesota campuses.
“I’m happy I got the first amendment about oil-related safety training added onto the bill. This is an issue I’ve worked on for more than a year. As the volume of oil trains in Minnesota has dramatically increased – it’s important our first responders have the training necessary to deal with the inevitable oil spills and accidents that accompany the shipment of hazardous materials. This report will seek out the best locations to accommodate training our first responders,” said Sen. Reinert. The Emergency Response Training Center at Lake Superior College will be one of the locations evaluated.
The second amendment is intended to address challenges at greater Minnesota U of M campuses that have operated under base budgets set back in 1998. Sen. Reinert is particularly interested in the ongoing budget challenges at UMD.
“We have a campus with diverse undergraduate and graduate degrees, extensive campus and student services, and Division I athletics. Does the budget base set eighteen years ago accurately reflect the UMD of today? I look forward to finding out.”
“This report asks the University of Minnesota to report what factors go into their base budget making, it asks what other budgeting models the University has looked at, and it also requires the University to answer the question: under what circumstances would it change the way it is currently setting the budget for its greater Minnesota campuses. These are important questions to ask,” said Sen. Reinert.