Driving Change in Higher Education.

2013 MSCSA State Legislative Agenda

MSCSA-2013-legislative-agenda-1By Shannon Glenn

MSCSA Vice President

Welcome to the 2013 legislative session. MSCSA President Steve Sabin and I have been busy at the state capitol educating lawmakers on our state legislative agenda. I am really excited that we were able to pass our agenda at the December Student Leadership Conference. 

The legislative agenda has a few components. Overall, we are supporting the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) budget request which includes: internships and apprenticeships, private scholarships, increased attention to degree completion, expanding Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO), limiting tuition increases to three percent, a leveraged equipment program, and increasing access to the state grant program for part-time students. Here are some of the numbers behind the proposal:

  • 10,000 apprenticeships and internships created. $12 million will come from the state and $12 million in matching funds from the private sector by 2015. 
  • Over 16,000 students will receive scholarships raised from $20 million in private funds raised by institutions. 
  • Expand PSEO to 27,000 high school students by 2015. 
  • A leveraged equipment program allows students to train on state of the art equipment that will prepare them for their career, funded by $21 million in state funding and $21 million in matching funds from the private sector. 
  • Over half of MnSCU college students attend school part time. Currently part-time students are not treated equitable in the state grant formula. Changes in the state grant program will expand financial aid eligibility to 8,057 MnSCU students. 

In addition to the MnSCU proposal, we are in support of funding the unfunded Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR) projects. These projects keep our buildings warm, safe, and dry. Last session $90 million in HEAPR projects went unfunded. If these projects continue to go unfunded, the bill is then put on the students by using campus reserve funds. After the HEAPR request is fully funded, we are in favor of appropriations for ten MnSCU campus projects that were not funded during the 2012 legislative session.

We look forward to working with you throughout session. I also encourage you to set up campus visits with your legislators. Please be sure to inform the MSCSA office about these meetings to receive Star Campus credit for your meetings with legislators.

pdfTo read MSCSA’s legislative priorities, click here.

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