It has been a very busy week at the Capitol. The House and Senate passed several conference committee reports and sent them to the governor for his signature. I serve as a negotiator on the Education Finance Conference Committee, and today we continued to approve provisions.
The education budget delivers transformational investments to support our students and school staff and stabilizes our public-school funding.
In addition to increases in the per-pupil education formula, the bill also links the formula to inflation in all future years to help school districts have more predictability in their financial outlooks.
The budget bill also reduces the Special Education cross-subsidy and eliminates the English Learner cross-subsidy by 2027 targeted to the school districts serving students with the highest needs.
I am very proud of the provision to increase investments to recruit and retain teachers of color, so those at the front of the classroom better reflect students they teach. In addition, we boosted investments in The Read Act to expand access to evidence-based literacy instruction.
The education budget ensures all students learn skills such as financial literacy, ethnic studies, computer science, and civic engagement to help them become well-rounded individuals. I am very proud of this legislation and look forward to how this vision will help our students – and educators – thrive.
Equal Rights Amendment Resolution Passes
On Thursday, The House passed a resolution to recognize the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The resolution asks the U.S. Senate to remove the extra-textual time limit for ratification of the amendment by the states to allow for states to act so the amendment can by fully ratified and incorporated into the United States Constitution. Minnesota ratified the ERA in 1973.
Budget Compromises Advance
Tuesday, the Minnesota House of Representatives approved the conference committee report on House File 2073, the state’s Higher Education Budget. With declining enrollment across higher education, the report provides a record increase in investment for Minnesota’s colleges and universities to reverse this trend.
The Higher Education budget for 2024-2025 funds the Office of Higher Education, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, the University of Minnesota campuses, the Mayo Clinic Medical School, and Tribal Colleges. Notably, the budget provides free college to students with household income under $80,000.
Also Tuesday, the House overwhelmingly approved the conference committee report on the Legacy Budget. The bill invests in Minnesota’s outdoor heritage, clean water, parks and trails, and arts and culture, including $172 million to restore, protect, and enhance Minnesota’s prairies, forests, wetlands, and wildlife habitats, with projects covering a total of over 121,000 acres of land. It invests in the Clean Water Fund split between state agencies and creates a Minnesota Clean Water Goal to make sure our water is safe for fishing, swimming, and drinking by 2050. The bill also includes funding to preserve and protect statewide parks and trail, with a provision ensuring four free public access days a year. Finally, it invests in arts, arts education, and arts access to preserve Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage.
Monday, the Minnesota House unanimously passed the conference committee report for the Veterans & Military Affairs Budget. The bill funds operations of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Military Affairs, while including initiatives to support Minnesota veterans.
Also on Monday, the Minnesota House approved the conference committee report on House File 2335, the state’s Housing Budget. The report makes $1 billion in investments, our state’s most significant commitment to addressing our housing crisis in state history. In doing so, the legislature will create housing stability for Minnesota families on the brink of homelessness through new state-based housing vouchers, spur the production of new homes across the state, and deliver pathways to homeownership for thousands of Minnesotans.
As the days tick down to the end of session, you can watch all the relevant conference committee and House floor hearings on the House Public Information YouTube channel.
Stay connected with the legislature
The Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services offers nonpartisan recaps of high-profile bills, committee hearings, and floor sessions with their Session Daily publication. Subscribe to receive these here. To track bills of interest through the legislative process, I encourage you to utilize the MyBills feature on the Minnesota House of Representatives’ website.
Please continue to reach out with any input, ideas, or feedback about the issues important to you. I value hearing from you, so please don’t hesitate to call or email me any time. You can also connect with me on Facebook here. It’s an honor to represent you at the State Capitol.
Rep. Laurie Pryor 571 State Office Building 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155 www.house.mn/49a