At this point the education bill has passed in the House. The Senate has not yet passed the bill as of early this morning. The Senate has added two small amendments, thus upon passage in the Senate, the bill will need to go back to the House for passage. Thanks to Valerie Dosland for her tireless efforts!!!.
Although the 2017 session adjourned, per the date required by the Constitution, the Legislature and the Governor did not reach agreement on significant portions of the state budget. While several finance bills were passed and sent to the Governor for his signature, they failed to reach agreements on six finance bills (E12, Taxes, Transportation, State Government, Health and Human Services and Bonding) prior to adjourning.
Prior to Monday’s adjournment, the Governor and legislative leaders reached a tentative agreement regarding the remaining budget bills. The Governor then called a special session for 12:01 on Tuesday, May 23. Throughout Tuesday, the House and Senate leadership spent the day finalizing their budget bills and began moving them early Wednesday morning. The bill has yet to pass the Senate. At this point it’s not clear whether or not Governor Dayton will sign the education finance or tax bills.
- 2% per year increase in the per pupil formula
- Funding to address teacher shortages
- A LIFO provision requiring school boards and the exclusive representative of the teachers to negotiate an unrequested leave of absence plan
- Teacher licensure governance changes and a tiered licensure structure
- Funding for a new school readiness plus program and early learning scholarships
- Agricultural land credit
A number of provisions we were following in the Tax bill were not adopted:
- Tax credits, deductions for education expenses and scholarship donations for private school tuition
- Debt service equalization (FY18 and FY19 only)
- Specified referendum ballot language s referendum ballot and on its notice to taxpayers the amounts of any board-approved local optional revenue and board-approved referendum authority.
- November only election date (note that five uniform election dates were adopted in the Omnibus Elections )
One bill that did not move forward is the TRA sustainability package. Despite having been given every assurance that the Legislature was committed to supporting the sustainability package, and to fund the employee costs expected of school districts, they failed to do so. We were told that they did not have the funding available to do so but over the course of the evening, it seemed that politics also got in the way of a resolution. As a result, no changes to the TRA pension have moved forward.