Legislative Update

ELECTION OF REGENTS: On Thursday evening, the House and Senate met in Joint Session to elect four Regents to lead the University of Minnesota for the next six years.  The four new Regents are: Maureen Cisneros, Verona Hung, Linda Cohen and Dean Johnson.  All four new regents were in the group of eleven finalists recommended by the Regent Candidate Advisory Council.

BUDGET DEBATE: The Minnesota House is expected to release its budget framework in the next few weeks, with spending targets for each budget area. The budget will include some very difficult choices, but the House remains focused on the basics of education, health care and jobs.

GREILING EDUCATION FUNDING BILL: House K-12 Finance Chair Mindy Greiling introduced a bill that would increase funding for education by restoring the 1999 top tier income tax rate from the current rate of 7.85% to a rate of 8.5%, effective in fiscal year 2007.

The bill would require the Commissioner of Finance to estimate the revenue gained from the rate increase, and deposit that amount in a specifically designated K-12 education account. The funds could be used to mitigate rising special education costs and for school innovation and reforms.

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