From Senate Media Services and MSBA staff
On a divided 39-24 vote, the Minnesota Senate approved a supplemental budget bill Thursday that allocates nearly $500 million to several state initiatives. Among the big items, $91 million is designated for programs to curb economic disparities among racial groups.
Another $85 million is directed at expanding broadband in Minnesota. E-12 education and higher education would receive an additional $96 million, and health and human services programs would gain an additional $43 million.
Senate Republicans attempted to direct the nearly $500 million to funding transportation improvements, but their proposed change to the bill failed to gain enough DFL support.
There were 26 amendments offered which provided for eight hours of debate on the Senate Floor. There were three amendments that passed that will impact public schools:
- Sen. Gary Dahms’ amendment that will expand the allowed uses for long-term facilities maintenance revenue to include violence prevention and facility security, ergonomics, or emergency communication devices.
- Sen. Carrie Ruud’s amendment that will allow for $200,000 to initiate, in consultation with the School Trust Lands director, a valuation process and representative valuations for the compensation of School Trust Lands in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
- Sen. Tom Saxhaug’s amendment will provide $400,000 for the School Trust Lands director to administer required work to expedite land exchanges.
Visit https://youtu.be/thg7wNg63mA for a video featuring the final comments from Senate Republican Leader David Hann and Senate Finance Chair Richard Cohen.