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State Relations Updates

OCtober 29, 2014

State relations team prepares for 2015 legislative session

On October 10, the University of Minnesota Board of Regents voted to approve President Kaler’s 2016-17 Biennial Budget Request and 2015 Capital Request. The budget request includes four initiatives:

Learn more about the biennial budget request.

The 2015 Capital Request includes three projects:

Learn more about the capital request.

The state relations team has already begun to meet with elected officials and staff about these requests. A new legislature will convene in January and consider the University’s budget and capital requests.

Biennial budget request presented to state officials

President Kaler and Vice President Brooks Jackson presented the University of Minnesota's budget request last week to Commissioner Schowalter of Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB), Commissioner Pogemiller of the Office of Higher Education, Commissioner of Revenue Myron Frans, Governor's Dayton’s staff, and several MMB staff members. The presentation offered an opportunity to have an in-depth conversation with these key members of the governor's administration about the details of the University's request and the thought behind its various initiatives.

President Kaler offered his vision on the budget request, emphasizing the critical role the University plays in the health and vitality of Minnesota. He explained how each component of the request builds on University strengths. The governor’s staff will provide recommendations to the governor in late December. View the presentation.

2014 Big Ten Government and Community Relations Conference

Our office hosted the annual Big Ten Government and Community Relations Conference, October 15-17. Participants shared information on what is occurring at the community, state, and federal levels. The conference included panel discussions on issues such as the sustainability of higher education, the achievement gap, and the return on investment for states that have a research institution, as well as the hot-button issue of college athletics.

House candidates respond to UMAA survey

As it is election season, the University of Minnesota’s Alumni Association (UMAA) invited all Minnesota State House candidates to participate in a survey on higher education issues. While UMAA does not endorse candidates, the purpose of the survey is to inform University supporters of candidates’ positions on issues such as higher education funding and research. View the candidates’ responses.

October 1, 2014

Election Day is November 4

Elections for a U.S. Senate seat, the gubernatorial seat, and all 134 seats in the Minnesota House of Representatives will be held on November 4. The House is currently controlled by the DFL with a 73-61 majority; however, control of the House has swung between the two parties in the last two elections. This election again looks like it will be very close for at least 20 house seats, meaning that control of the House is very much in play. It will be an exciting election night.

Government and Community Relations will send out an update with results shortly after the election. In the following weeks, our office will focus on educating new legislators about the University of Minnesota and its priorities. The Legislature will convene again on January 6, 2015.

The Minnesota Senate is not up for reelection until 2016.

Legislative Staff Day

On Thursday, September 25, the government relations team hosted 40 federal and state legislative staffers for a full day on the Twin Cities campus to learn about teaching and research innovations. During the first half of the day, legislative staff toured the Medical Devices Center, the Visible Heart Lab, and the Academic Health Center Simulation Center. After lunch, One Stop staff presented on the services they provide students regarding registration, financial aid, billing, payment, student records, and veterans benefits. Then legislative staff learned about interactive learning and toured the active classrooms in STSS. The day capped off with a tour of TCF Bank Stadium and a visit from Goldy.

Advocacy at the Minnesota State Fair

Once again this year, staff and student volunteers teamed up to promote civic engagement at the Legislative Action Network booth in the University of Minnesota building at the State Fair. Visitors to the booth learned about the network and how to help support the University's legislative request. In total, 174 individuals signed up to become members of the Legislative Action Network, and over 50 people registered to vote.