All public school children must have equal access to a high quality education regardless of where they live in Minnesota.




Legislative Update  
A communication for education advocates in SEE districts.
January 6, 2017  
Quick Links:

Check out Brad's Blog for detailed information on legislative activity
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Good news in the Governor's tax bill
Welcome to the SEE legislative update!  SEE sends out this weekly update during the legislative session to keep you informed of what is happening at the Capitol in regards to E-12 public education.  

The Governor and Lt. Governor released their proposal for tax cuts yesterday.  Debt service equalization, which is a top priority for many SEE districts, is included!  The equalization would lower the taxpayer cost for voter-approved building bonds for new or improved school facilities. SEE strives to get key provisions in one or more of the House, Senate or Governor's bills to strengthen the likelihood of the provisions moving through the legislative process and becoming law.  In addition, SEE is pleased the Governor included this property tax relief in his tax bill and not in the education bill so it will not compete with dollars intended for the classroom.    Brad's Blog gives more details.
What is happening at the Capitol
The 2017 Legislative Session began on Tuesday. 

The biggest surprise of the November elections (at least on the state level) was the Republicans took control of the Senate by a slim margin of 34-33.  The Republicans increased their majority in the House to 76-57. SEE's 59 districts are heavily represented by Republicans.  In the Senate, 82% of the Republicans  in the majority represent at least one SEE district.  In the House, 72% of the Republicans represent SEE districts. 

The number one job for the Legislature and the Governor in this session is to produce a balanced budget that covers the next two years.  The majority party controls what happens in each body.  Republicans will chair the committees and they determine what bills gets heard and included in the final bills. However, the final budget bills will end up on the DFL Governor's desk for signature or veto so compromise will be required.  If that is not accomplished, the Minnesota government will begin shutting down on July 1.

You can see what SEE will advocate for in the 2017 Legislative Platform.  Supporting documentation can be found on the SEE website.   

The major provisions SEE will advocate for include:
  • Property tax relief by making school levies more affordable in low-property wealth districts, including operating referendum for educational programming and debt-service for school building bonds to pay for new or improved facilities.
  • A minimum of 3% increases to the basic formula for each of the next two years.  This funding stream is critical for school districts to retain current programming for their students. 
Additional legislative information

SEE closely follows education-related legislation and maintains the following information that will help you track who is making the decisions and what priorities emerge in each legislative body and with the governor.    

If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to contact me. 

Regards,

Deb Griffiths
Director of Communications and Community Outreach
612-309-0089