SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, the Minnesota House Higher Education Committee held the first of two hearings this fall to receive updates from Minnesota’s public higher education institutions on the implementation of the fiscal year 2024-2025 budget as well as updates on the 2023-2024 academic year. Lawmakers heard this afternoon from the University of Minnesota’s interim president Jeff Ettinger and budget director Julie Tonneson.
“Minnesota’s future economic success will depend on a highly educated, skilled, and trained workforce. To meet this responsibility, following years of tuition increases, the 2023 legislative session delivered a record investment in higher education,” said Rep. Gene Pelowski (DFL – Winona), the committee chair. “These hearings provide us an opportunity for accountability for system leadership and to ensure the investments are benefitting their intended target – Minnesota students.”
“I was incredibly excited to support our historic investments in higher education this past legislative session,” said Rep. Dan Wolgamott (DFL – St. Cloud), the committee’s vice chair. “The University of Minnesota is a valued partner in our work to provide Minnesotans excellent higher education opportunities, without acquiring unsustainable debt, while gaining the knowledge and skills necessary for a rewarding career.”
After two decades of systemic underfunding and tuition increases, enrollment at campuses across the state has been consistently declining. In response, the 2023 Higher Education Budget bill, enacted by lawmakers in May, invested an additional $100 million over the biennium to the University of Minnesota. It also fully funded the U of M’s systemwide safety and security request of $10 million while increasing ongoing base funding by $2 million.
On Monday, November 6 at 1 p.m., the committee will hold a hearing featuring budget and academic updates from Minnesota State.