2015 Minnesota State Legislative Recap
Despite a Special Session and battles with the GOP-controlled House, Local 320 Teamsters did quite well in 2015. Though we did not advance any major labor legislation this session, we were able to maintain what we already have and to repel the anti-union legislation proposed in the House. Overall, we made gains or maintained for all Teamsters Local 320 groups from the State of Minnesota to local government.
Both the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (MnSCU) and the University of Minnesota received additional monies for operations; however, neither system reached “full funding.” Minnesota’s public universities and colleges were shortchanged by the State Legislature and will have to raise tuition in order to meet inflationary pressures. Please know that the State Legislature had the power and resources to fully fund Higher Ed but simply failed to do so.
Click here to view the text of the Omnibus Higher Education Finance bill.
Public Defense and State Courts
The Board of Public Defense and the State Courts nearly reached full funding and were able to secure a nine percent (9%) funding increase over the 2016-2017 biennium.
Click here to view the text of the Omnibus Public Safety and Judiciary Finance and Policy bill.
Because there was not a tax bill during the 2015 session there are no changes to Local Government Aid (LGA) to cities or County Program Aid (CPA) to counties. To view the certified LGA and CPA figures please visit http://www.revenue.state.mn.us/local_gov/prop_tax_admin/Pages/lga.aspx
There were no significant changes to MSRS or PERA pension benefits. Click here to view the text of the Omnibus Retirement bill.
Blue Alert: the State Legislature set up a statewide alert system aimed at catching suspected police killers. Like the Amber Alert to find children, the Blue Alert would be used to get the public’s help to track down a suspect when police officers are killed or wounded.
The State Legislature designated a segment of Trunk Highway 149 (Dodd Road) in Mendota Heights as “Officer Scott Patrick Memorial Highway.”
The State Legislature designated Trunk Highway 36 in Maplewood to be named “Sergeant Joseph Bergeron Memorial Highway.”
During the 2015 session education funding for public schools was undoubtedly the most contested and controversial item. The Special Session was able to push a deal between Governor Dayton and the GOP-controlled House. The final target is $525 million for funding increases: $63 million will go toward the general education funding formula, equaling a two percent (2%) increase for each year of the 2016-2017 biennium. The remainder of the funding increases will go toward early learning scholarships and “School Readiness” programs.
If you have any further questions or concerns about the Legislative Recap or have questions regarding items not mentioned on this outline please feel free to contact Gus Froemke, Local 320 Communications and Government Relations Director, at email@example.com