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Minnesota House Approves Higher Education Supplemental Budget

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

St. Paul, MN - Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed House File 5299, the House’s Higher Education Supplemental Budget. The legislation, authored by State Representative Gene Pelowski (DFL - Winona), passed on a vote of 69-58. The bill now heads to the Minnesota Senate. 

“This supplemental budget builds off last year’s work of making higher education more accessible,” said Rep. Pelowski, Chair of the House’s Higher Education Finance and Policy Committee. “Whether it’s addressing the need to support students who were in foster care or providing affordable childcare to students who are parents, we’re providing a pathway to higher learning for all students.”

Last year, the Higher Education Committee passed a record funding increase for Minnesota’s colleges and universities that froze tuition at Minnesota State for two years, fully funded the University of Minnesota’s systemwide safety and security request, and provided free college to students with household income under $80,000, among other investments. 

This year, the bulk of new investment went towards the Kids on Campus Initiative. The provision invests $500,000 in the Minnesota State system to establish Head Start Programs on college campuses, providing access to affordable childcare to students. 

The budget also transfers $5 million to the Fostering Independence Grant program, which saw a funding shortfall due to an increased need. The Fostering Independence Grant program is a financial aid program that seeks to eliminate financial barriers for Minnesota students who were in the foster care system to attend college.

The legislation also allows the Office of Higher Education to grant up to $15 million from the Tomassoni ALS Research and Caregiver Support Funding, which was passed in 2022, to the ALS Association to issue competitive research grants. 

A summary of House File 5299 can be found here. A spreadsheet of the bill’s investments can be found here. Video of today’s floor debate can be found on the House Public Information YouTube channel


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