March 15, 2016

Governor Mark Dayton released his 2016-2017 supplemental budget recommendation today, which includes $21 million ongoing funds for operating support at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. 

The Governor’s budget states the $21 million “will allow MnSCU to maintain the planned tuition rates for the 2016-2017 school year without reducing services. The $21 million in supplemental funding will be distributed directly to MnSCU’s 37 separately-accredited colleges and universities across Minnesota to fund core operations; no funds will be retained in the system office.”

Governor Dayton is also recommending creating a competitive grant program at the Office of Higher Education with the goal of narrowing gaps in post-secondary attainment. The grants are intended to fund research-driven best practices that facilitate student retention and completion at higher education institutions.

Dayton’s budget also requests the shifting of administrative funds from fiscal year 2017 to 2016 for the start-up work required at the Office of Higher Education for the new Occupational Scholarship Pilot program passed last session. The program is intended to provide low-income students pursuing credentials or associates degrees in high demand occupations with free tuition and mentoring at MnSCU institutions.

Dayton is also proposing to fund the recruitment and retention of teachers by lowering tuition and funding recruitment of teacher candidates who agree to work in teacher shortage areas.

Of the $900 million budget surplus, Dayton is proposing to spend $698 million, which includes $117 million in tax cuts. Of the almost $700 million proposal, $411 million is one-time spending, and the remaining $287 million are for ongoing costs. Dayton’s budget leaves a little over $200 million on the bottom line headed into the next biennium.

The release of Governor Dayton’s budget proposal is the first step in the budget process and will frame the budget discussion at the Capitol. Both the House and Senate will work through the committee process to come up with their budget plan. Lawmakers have until May 23 to finish their work.

The Governor’s budget spreadsheet can be found HERE

The detailed summary of each line item in Governor Dayton’s budget can be found HERE