House Republican Statement on Passage of Higher Education Omnibus Bill
St. Paul, MN – House GOP Higher Education Lead Rep. Marion O'Neill, R-Maple Lake, issued the following statement after passage of Senate File 975, the Higher Education Omnibus bill. The bill includes a great new initiative for Aspiring Teachers of Color but in spite of a requested $26 million, it only funds $4.5 million. The bill does freeze tuition at Minnesota State schools, but not student fees, so the net costs will most certainly go up for students. Finally, the bill underfunds student mental health resources after an incredibly difficult year for college students. The bill passed 74-59.
"This bill is a missed opportunity to take steps towards reining in out-of-control administrative costs at the University of Minnesota, give students the mental health resources they desperately need, and fund scholarships to bring more teachers of color into our classrooms," said O'Neill. "Unfortunately, Democrats instead prioritized growing bureaucracy at the Office of Higher Education and creating a million dollar working group to figure out how to send a letter to all graduating high school seniors. This bill still has a long way to go to meet the needs of our college students in Minnesota."