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Legislative Update: MN House Passes the Education Policy Conference Committee Report

Friday, May 17, 2024
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We are down to the last few days of the 2024 legislative session, and we are spending most of our time on the House floor passing legislation and conference committee reports. This week Minnesota House passed the Education Policy Conference Committee Report. I chair the Education Policy Committee and am the author of the legislation, which builds on last year’s historic education budget by prioritizing policies to improve student experiences and outcomes in Minnesota schools.

This comprehensive legislation builds on significant funding from the 2023 session. This wide-ranging policy bill focuses on important measures to give schools flexibility, addresses students’ mental health, eliminates some paperwork, addresses protected speech, and more. Students must be the center of our focus, and this legislation puts attention squarely on our kids. I am proud to vote ‘yes’ on this report.  Among the highlights:

  • Prohibits banning books.
  • Requires schools to adopt a policy on student cell phone use so school buildings have a consistent approach to help students focus on learning.
  • Eliminates unnecessary paperwork so special education teachers can spend more time working with their students and ensures these teachers have the training they need to meet those students’ needs.
  • Requires schools to provide mental health education for students in grades 4-12 (starting in the 2026-27 school year).
  • Creates a process for students to access their mental health services through telehealth without needing to leave their school buildings.
  • Gives school boards more flexibility in determining their schedules by allowing them to implement a four-day school week.
  • Improves state oversight and accountability for charter schools.
  • Establishes clear guidelines for what is protected and unprotected speech in school newspapers to ensure students can engage in spirited debate without fear of censorship for crossing an otherwise subjective line.
  • Expands access to PSEO and Concurrent Enrollment courses so more students can earn college credits for free while in high school.

Video of the floor discussion is available on House Public Information Services YouTube channel.

Other Significant Legislation Passed 

Additional legislation and conference committee reports recently passed:

  • The Human Service Policy conference committee report, which continued the work of historic investments to help our most vulnerable. This bipartisan legislation clarifies several items in last year’s bill, which makes improvements for Minnesotans with disabilities, those in recovery from substance use disorder, and recipients who rely on waiver services.
  • The Health Supplemental Budget and Policy budget bill. This strong bill takes meaningful action to enhance health insurance coverage, improve health care access, increase patient protections, reform Emergency Medical Services, and help address mental health in Minnesota. 
  • The Elections Finance and Policy conference committee report. The policy provisions of the report focus on improved voter access and election transparency. It targets policy areas where the state can improve voter turnout and ensure that if voting is restricted, voters have a means of redress. It enhances disclosure requirements for those seeking to influence elections, expands voter access and comprehension, and increases election transparency.
  • The Higher Education Supplemental budget bill. The legislation adds to last year’s 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 a household income under $80,000, among other investments. 
  • The Agriculture Supplemental budget, which includes the reauthorization of the Food Safety and Defense Task Force, farm-to-school grant funding, creates the first Spanish language commercial pesticide applicator exam, addresses the groundwater nitrate crisis, and more.
  • The Climate and Energy Budget and Policy bill, which includes reforms to the permitting process for clean energy projects, support for geothermal energy power, and additional investments and policies to ensure we reach the 100% Clean Energy by 2040 goal the Legislature set last year.
  • The conference committee report cracking down on hidden, deceptive fees to ensure consumers have fair, upfront pricing for event tickets, restaurant meals, hotels, credit cards, and more.

New State Flag Raised 

On Saturday, May 11, 2024, the new Minnesota State Flag was flown over the Capitol for the first time!


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. You can track bills of interest with the MyBills feature and for general House of Representatives’ information, click on the website.

As most of you know, I am retiring from the legislature at the end of the year. Until then, please continue to reach out with any input, ideas, or feedback about the issues important to you. I value hearing from you, so call or email me any time. You can also connect with me on Facebook here. It is an honor to represent you at the State Capitol.


Laurie Pryor

State Representative



Rep. Laurie Pryor
571 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155

Phone: 651-296-3964
Facebook: Rep. Laurie Pryor
Legislative Assistant: Isabel Anderson (651) 296-5999