What's in the new higher-education bill


The state legislative conference committee on higher education — the body that irons out differences between the House and Senate bills in that area — finally adopted a policy and finance bill this evening after a late start.

Perhaps because the higher-ed budget had already suffered large cuts, it looks like it was spared more.

Here are the main financial highlights, and you can read the whole spreadsheet above. I’ll get into other areas tomorrow:

Overall budget target. Not much change. It was set at $2.5 billion for the biennium – a cut of $306 million from this year’s spending level (10.9 percent) and $411 million from the 2012-13 base (14.1 percent).

That compares with the governor’s overall higher-ed budget of $2.75 billion, which would cut $66 million from this year’s spending (2.3 percent) and $171 million from the base (6 percent).

When you get down to specific sections, the House and Senate more or less split the difference on most.

MnSCU. It would be cut by 11.4 percent from today’s levels and 14.3 percent from the base.

University of Minnesota. It would be cut 14.5 percent from today’s levels and 19 percent from the base.

State Office of Higher Education. Faces a cut of 12.9 percent from today’s levels and 12.5 percent from the base.

Tuition caps. Two-year state colleges could raise tuition by a maximum of 3 percent each year of the biennium. State universities could raise tuition by 5 percent the first year and 4 percent the second. MnSCU fees would also be capped at 4 percent a year during the biennium, unless students approve a higher maximum for their campus. Tuition at the University of Minnesota would be capped at 4 percent each year of the biennium, unless students approve a higher maximum for their campus.

The newly passed bill should be published tomorrow, so I’ll try to post a copy if I can get an electronic version.