Senate Counsel, Research
and Fiscal Analysis
Minnesota Senate Bldg.
95 University Avenue W. Suite 3300
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 296-4791
Tom Bottern
State of Minnesota
S.F. No. 2214 - Higher Education Finance and Policy Omnibus (3rd Engrossment)
Author: Senator Michelle L. Fischbach
Prepared By: Andrew J. Erickson, Senate Fiscal Analyst (651/296-4855)
Priyanka Premo, Senate Counsel (651/296-3914)
Date: March 29, 2017


S.F. 2214 is the higher education omnibus bill. Article 1 provides appropriations to the Office of Higher Education, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, the University of Minnesota, and other related programs. Article 2 makes several policy changes, including modifying various state grant calculation parameters and requiring additional reports from both the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

Article 1. Higher Education Appropriations

Section 1. Appropriation. Boilerplate appropriation language for the omnibus bill.

Section 2. Minnesota Office of Higher Education.

Subd. 1. Total OHE appropriation. $244,044,000 in FY18 and $240,573,000 in FY19.

Subd. 2. State Grant. $185,174,000 in FY18 and $185,394,000 in FY19, representing increases over the base of $4,893,000 in FY18 and $5,113,000 in FY19.

Subds. 3-19. These amounts are all unchanged from the base for existing programs.

Subd. 20. This appropriation is for an existing program, but represents an increase from $500,000 annually to $3,000,000 annually.

Subd. 21. This appropriation represents a $25,000 annual increase over the base for an existing program.

Subd. 22-25. These are existing programs funded at base amounts.

Subd. 26. This is new money for a campus sexual violence prevention and response coordinator funded at $150,000 annually.

Subds. 27-29. These amounts are all unchanged from the base for existing programs.

Subd. 30. This is a change item proposed at $175,000 annually.

Subd. 31. This is a change item funding the Large Animal Veterinarian Loan Forgiveness Program at $375,000 annually. The base is set at $0 for FY28.

Subd. 32. This is a change item funding the amended program under Minnesota Statutes, section 136A.1275, to provide grants to teacher candidates at $500,000 annually.

Subd. 33. This is a change item providing a grant to LRAP at $25,000 annually.

Subd. 34. This appropriation reduces funding for OHE administration by $175,000 annually as compared to the base. The total appropriation is $2,389,000 in each year.

Subds. 35 and 36. Old language that allows unused money in the first year to be carried forward to the second year, and to allow the commissioner to transfer surplus appropriations for certain financial aid programs among those programs as needed.

Section 3. Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

Subd. 1. Total MnSCU appropriation. $700,036,000 in FY18 and $699,816,000 in FY19.

Subd. 2. This is the base amount for MnSCU central offices and services shared in common among the state colleges and universities: $33,074,000 annually.

Subd. 3. Operations and Maintenance. The total amounts include a $45,000,000 increase to operations and maintenance for campus support, divided equally across the biennium, as well as some other base adjustments described below. Total operations and maintenance is $662,847,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $662,627,000 in fiscal year 2019.

Paragraph (a). Freezes tuition at the 2016-17 rate for the full biennium.

Paragraph (b). Provides supplemental aid to non-metro two-year campuses. The program adds $1,500,000 annually, included in the totals for Subd. 3.

Paragraph (c). This is new language proposed by the Governor about closing the attainment gap; there is no appropriation tied to the language.

Paragraph (d). $260,000 in FY18 and $140,000 in FY19 are dedicated for the Cook County Higher Education Board and includes an additional $120,000 in onetime funding for FY18.

Paragraphs (e-g). These are all existing dedicated appropriations.

Paragraph (h). MnSCU’s request for the Integrated Student Record System is funded at $2,500,000 annually, and this amount is included in the total O&M appropriation. The base for this appropriation is $0 in FY24.

Paragraph (i). This is a change item funded at $100,000 in FY18 only. Includes a reporting requirement.

Subd. 4. This is the base amount for the Learning Network of Minnesota.

Section 4. Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota.

Subd. 1. Total U of M all funds appropriation, and appropriations broken out by fund. The all funds total is $643,318,000 in each year, the general fund total is $641,161,000 in each year, and the health care access fund total is $2,157,000 in each year.

Subd. 2. Operations and Maintenance. The total amounts include a $24,000,000 increase for core mission support, divided evenly across the biennium, and an adjustment to account for a law change made in Art. 2., sec. 11. The totals also account for some appropriation changes below. The total for operations and maintenance is $573,723,000 in each year.

Paragraph (a). This is a request for the Board of Regents to freeze tuition at the 2016-17 level for the full biennium.

Paragraphs (b-c). These are old dedicated appropriations.

Paragraph (d). This is new language funding the MnDRIVE change item at $2,000,000 annually.

Subd. 3. This is a base appropriation from the health care access fund.

Subd. 4. These state special appropriations are all base amounts and old language, except paragraph (d), which includes an additional $1,000,000 annually for NRRI.

Subd. 5. This is language acknowledging a statutory appropriation to the U’s Academic Health Center derived from the tobacco tax.

Section 5. Mayo Clinic. All appropriations in this section are for existing programs funded at the base level.

Article 2. Higher Education Policy

Section 1. Subd. 7. Reports. Requires the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities systems to include in their biennial budget proposals to the legislature information about work performed by any consultant who is not an employee of the system for which the system paid more than $500,000. The report must provide the name of the consultant, the total cost incurred, a description of the work completed, and a description of the reasons for using an outside consultant.

Requires both the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities to provide aggregate data in their biennial budget proposals related to student demographics, student enrollment history, student debt history, student academics, human resources, facilities, and administrative costs.

Requires both the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities to provide, in their biennial budget proposal, a comparison of expenditures from the most recent fiscal year to the prior fiscal year, including a full explanation of all material changes.

Section 2. Subd. 1a. Sexual assault definition. Updates the definition of sexual assault in the state’s campus sexual assault law to reflect a change in federal law. The previous definition defined sexual assault as “forcible sex offenses.” This term no longer exists in federal law. The bill defines sexual assault as “rape, sex offenses-fondling, sex offenses-incest, or sex offenses-statutory rape.”

Section 3. Subd. 5a. Assigned family responsibility. Makes an adjustment to the state grant award calculation by subtracting $158 from the modified contribution for all student types.

Section 4. Subd. 2. Eligible students. Expands eligibility for child care grants to students enrolled full time for less than ten months. Current law limits eligibility to those enrolled for less than eight months.

Section 5. Amount and length of grants. Increases cap for child care grants from $2,800 to $3,000.  

Section 6. Teacher candidate grants. Expands eligibility to teacher candidates belonging to underrepresented racial or ethnic groups.

Subd. 1. Establishment. Replaces “high needs subject area or region” with the term “shortage area.” Defines “shortage area” as a license field or economic development region within Minnesota which has been identified, by the Department of Education, as an area in need of teachers. Extends grants to teacher candidates who belong to an underrepresented racial or ethnic minority.

Subd. 2. Eligibility. Expands eligibility to teacher candidates who belong to an underrepresented racial or ethnic group. Requires teacher candidates to meet satisfactory academic progress.

Subd. 3. Administration; repayment. Requires repayment from students who do not complete their student teaching program or who leave Minnesota to teach in another state during the first year after student teaching. Caps the stipend amount at $7,500. The commissioner must consider financial need in determining the stipend amount. The percentage of total awards reserved for teacher candidates belonging to an underrepresented racial or ethnic group must be equal to or greater than the percentage of students belonging to underrepresented racial or ethnic groups.

Section 7. Student loan debt counseling. Establishes an OHE program to provide grants to qualified organizations offering student loan debt repayment counseling.

Subdivision 1. Grant. Permits an organization receiving a grant to offer counseling to those capable of being served with available appropriations. Sets a goal that a grantee provide at least two counseling sessions to 75 percent of borrowers receiving counseling. Establishes that the purpose of the counseling is to enable borrowers to understand their loan and repayment options, manage loan repayments, and develop a workable budget.

Subd. 2. Qualified debt counseling organization. Defines a qualified debt counseling organization as one that has experience in student loan counseling, employs certified financial loan counselors, and is based in Minnesota and has offices in multiple rural and metropolitan locations.

Subd. 3. Grant application and award. Requires that applications be made in a form and manner specified by the commissioner. Describes the components that must be included on the application. Requires the commissioner to select one grant recipient every two years, as funds are available. The grant recipient would receive funding for both years of the biennium.

Subd. 4. Program evaluation. Requires a grant recipient to submit a report to the commissioner of higher education every two years. Specifies data elements to be included in the report.

Subd. 5. Report to legislature. Requires OHE to submit a report on the program to the higher education committees of the legislature every two years.

Section 8. Exemption; accredited nonprofit schools. Exempts regionally accredited nonprofit postsecondary institutions with their primary physical locations in Minnesota from the following: approval or preapproval of degree programs within approved majors, courses, new locations, and underlying curriculum, inducing any related modifications. Requires these institutions to notify OHE of new locations, new majors, new degrees within existing degrees and additional related information if requested by OHE. Requires these institutions to notify OHE within 60 days of any program closings.

Section 9. Private institutions; adjudication of fraud or misrepresentation. Current law prohibits OHE from providing registration, degree approval, or name approval to a private, degree-granting postsecondary institution if there is a criminal, civil, or administrative adjudication of fraud or misrepresentation against the school. This section removes this prohibition and instead gives OHE the discretion to revoke or deny an application for registration, degree approval, or name approval if the school received an adjudication of fraud or misrepresentation. Permits the commissioner to revoke degree approval for an academic program rather than the school if the adjudication of fraud or misrepresentation was related to an academic program.

Section 10 & 11. Licensure exemptions. Exempts the following from licensure requirements:

  1. Psychology professors teaching at accredited institutions who do not provide direct clinical services and receive appropriate oversight from the institution; and
  2. Psychology students who are practicing under supervision.

Section 12. County scholarship program. Authorizes counties to establish a county scholarship program funded by any unencumbered mineral royalties or any law imposing a tax upon severed mineral values. Scholarships must be used at a two-year MNSCU institution located within the county funding the scholarship. The scholarship applicant must be a county resident at the time of the applicant’s high school graduation. The county will establish procedures for applying and distributing the scholarship and any additional eligibility criteria.

Section 13. University of Minnesota base adjustment. This is an adjustment to the University of Minnesota base from fiscal years 2018 to 2041. The original adjustment was made as an estimate to repay the University for bonds sold under its authority; this adjustment is to recapture the excess appropriation now that the actual payment amounts are known.

Section 14.  Developmental education reform. Requests that Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees to create a system-wide plan to reform their developmental education offerings. The plan must, at a minimum, do the following: (1) focus on placing fewer students into developmental education courses; (2) shorten the duration of time students spend in developmental education courses; (3) lower the cost of developmental education courses; and (4) identify best practices for delivering developmental education courses. The plan must be submitted to the legislature by February 15, 2018 and implemented by the start of the 2020-2021 academic term.

Section 15. Greater Minnesota outreach and recruitment. Requests that the University of Minnesota to develop an outreach and recruitment plan for students from greater Minnesota. Greater Minnesota means any area in Minnesota other than Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka, Scott, Washington, Carver, and Dakota counties. The plan must be submitted to the legislature by February 15, 2018.

Section 16. School district graduate reporting.  OHE must publish on its website data related to the rates of supplemental and developmental education course usage by recent graduates of Minnesota high schools. Requires the data to be disaggregated by race, ethnicity, free or reduced lunch eligibility, and age. Must be posted by February 1, 2018 and be updated annually.

Section 17. Required MNSCU easements. Requires MNSCU to grant a permanent easement to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority in and for the city of Virginia, including both an access and parking easement.

Section 18. Supplemental aid for two-year MNSCU colleges.  Requires the MNSCU Board of Trustees to provide supplemental aid to each two-year MNSCU college with at least one campus not located in a metropolitan county (Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Washington, Scott, Carver, Ramsey). Provides for an annual transfer of $50,000 for each campus but places an annual cap of $150,000 on total supplemental aid for each institution.

Section 19. State grant tuition caps; living and miscellaneous expense allowance. Paragraph (a) sets in law the maximum recognized cost of attendance for two-year ($5,736) and four-year ($14,186) institutions for purposes of calculating state grant awards. These amounts maintain the recognized cost of attendance at the FY17 level. Paragraph (b) sets in law the allowance for living and miscellaneous expenses (LME) at $9,320, the amount set by OHE for FY17 using its authority to temporarily raise the LME to use surplus state grant funds.

Section 20. Ongoing appropriation. Clarifies that any funds appropriated under Laws 2016, chapter 189, article 25, section 62, subdivision 11 for grants to teachers in shortage areas and carried forward to the FY18-19 biennium may be used for any of the purposes authorized under the amended version of the program in article 2, sec. 4 (teacher candidate grants).

Check on the status of this bill
Back to Senate Counsel and Research Bill Summaries page

This page is maintained by the Office of Senate Counsel, Research, and Fiscal Analysis for the Minnesota Senate.
Last review or update: 03/29/2017
If you see any errors on this page, please e-mail us at