Legislative Updates

Please join Minneapolis College on Tuesday, March 9 from 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. for a virtual Legislative Advocacy Bootcamp & Town Hall Meeting!

  • 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. |  Bootcamp about Legislative Advocacy and tools for you  
  • 4:00 - 4:30 p.m. |  Breakout Sessions: Students and Faculty & Staff 
  • 4:30 – 5:00 p.m. | Town Hall Meeting with legislators  

Learn about the legislative process, how bills are created and how to connect with the legislators who represent you. The bootcamp will prepare you to support current and future Minneapolis College students by joining in legislative advocacy efforts. This is your chance to talk with legislators about your affinity for Minneapolis College and how lives are transformed through the education provided here.

Gov. Tim Walz is proposing \$63.5 million for Minnesota State in his 2022-2023 budget; \$61 million to help stabilize colleges and universities and \$2.5 million to support students' basic needs.

The Governor is recommending $61 million for campus responsiveness and stabilization, which provides Minnesota State campuses with the operating funds needed to continue offering high-quality, affordable higher education programs throughout the state. This funding would address increased expenses caused by the coronavirus pandemic and inflationary costs over the biennium.

The Governor is also recommending $2.5 million in general fund spending to address critical needs that stand in the way of college and university students pursuing and completing their educational programs. This proposal will fund an online mental health resource for students and an information hub to connect students to state and local resources to address basic needs, such as housing and food insecurity.

Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra released the following statement regarding Gov. Walz's budget recommendation:

“We are very appreciative of the support that Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan have demonstrated through this strong budget proposal,” said Devinder Malhotra, chancellor of Minnesota State.

“If enacted, the governor’s proposal would help stabilize the financial positions of our 30 colleges and seven universities, enable our students to continue on their educational journey, and drive the recovery of Minnesota’s economy from the impact of the pandemic with an educated and work-ready talent pool. We look forward to working with legislators through the remainder of the session towards our shared commitment: providing affordable access to exceptional higher education for all Minnesotans.”

Walz is also proposing \$35 million to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education for a workforce stabilization program. The program is for targeted grants for re-skilling and workforce stabilization.

The program is intended to benefit approximately 20,300 students who are eligible for grants to cover tuition and fees based on their income or are working in an industry that has been impacted by COVID-19.

Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter said at this afternoon's press conference that they started from a \$1.3 billion budget shortfall projected for 2022-2023, and that part of the challenge is closing that gap.

He said in addition to closing the budget gap, the administration is also investing \$1.3 billion in new investments for 2022-2023. He said the budget represents new spending, as well as spending reductions.

Schowalter said they are investing \$885 million in K-12 education, with initiatives that include: expanding extensive summer programs to help students catch up on learning, mental health, and targeting support for students most in need. He said they are also proposing an increase to the K-12 funding formula.

Schowalter said the administration is using a variety of solutions to balance the budget while investing to build a better future for Minnesota. Specifically, he listed a number of solutions: carryover from the previous fiscal year; \$1 billion from the budget reserve (leaving \$847 million in the reserve); transferring \$130 million to the general fund from the stadium reserve (the stadium reserve would be capped at \$100 million, with annual stadium costs at \$44 million); and raises $1.6 billion in additional revenue.

The additional revenue proposals include: expanding the working family tax credit, expanding the first tier of the individual income tax, establishing a 5th tier for families with incomes over \$1 million; \$7 million for Angel Tax Credit; an increase on the capital gains tax and corporate franchise tax rate; and reinstating the estate tax exclusion.

Governor Walz said about the budget, "Not every Minnesotan was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic equally. We know the COVID-19 pandemic hit our working families, small businesses, and students particularly hard. They need our help. The budget I am unveiling today will make significant strides in helping those Minnesotans stay afloat."

Lieutenant Governor Flanagan said, "We have often said that a budget is not only a fiscal document, it’s a moral document. This budget reflects the morals of the majority of Minnesotans. I am proud that this budget makes smart choices to invest in the future by asking the wealthiest to pay their fair share and supporting those who have borne the heaviest burdens of the COVID-19 pandemic, all while maintaining a fair and balanced budget."

Walz also said they will readjust their budget after the February economic forecast is released. This is the first big step in the budget process. Both the House and Senate will now work to craft their budgets.

The complete details of the budget can be found on Minnesota Management and Budget's web site.