Minnesota State University Association of Administrative and Service Faculty

2015 Legislative Recap

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.

Higher Ed

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.

LGA/CPA  

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  

Pensions

There were no significant changes to MSRS or PERA pension benefits. Click here to view the text of the Omnibus Retirement bill.  

MNTLEL

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.”

Schools

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 gfroemke@teamsterslocal320.org

Higher Education Alert!

Today the Higher Education Conference Committee (combined committee of select House and Senate legislators) will meet and decide how much money our higher education institutions will receive in state funding. The Committee’s deliberations may last for days but we must contact those committee members as soon as possible.

What’s at stake?

  • In the House the MnSCU system is provided $105 million towards its $142 million goal.
  • In the House the University of Minnesota is provided no (zero) additional monies towards its $95 million goal.
  • In the Senate the MnSCU system is provided $60 million towards its $142 million goal. Furthermore, the Senate position includes language regarding performance funding. We are concerned with this strategy, and any strategy that potentially reduces college and university budgets, especially at a time when campuses are already experiencing financial distress.
  • In the Senate the University of Minnesota is provided with $85 million towards its $95 million goal.

As you can see for yourself, the House and Senate are extremely sporadic and exceptionally divided regarding Minnesota’s higher education priorities. However, Governor Mark Dayton has recommended to the State Legislature to fully fund the MnSCU system’s budget request as well as fully funding the University of Minnesota’s budget request.

Please understand that if the MnSCU system and the University of Minnesota fall short on their budget requests that union members will have challenges during contract negotiations with wages and benefits. The monies that the Higher Ed intuitions are requesting are directly tied to wage and benefit increase for faculty and staff.

Please contact the Conference Committee members now and ask them to support Governor Dayton’s position. Also, share this information with your coworkers!

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