Committee meeting canceled by floods

The Senate Children Family and Learning Committee meeting was canceled Monday. The committee was scheduled to hear the omnibus higher education bill.
Sen. LeRoy Stumpf, DFL-Thief River Falls, who is a co-chairman of the committee, is stranded in his district due to flooding, and was unable to return to the Capitol.
The committee will hear the bill today instead.
The bill provides $124 million for the University, far short of the University’s request of $230 million.
Sen. Cal Larson, R-Fergus Falls, said the Higher Education Committee wanted to provide more funding, but was limited by the funding target outlined by the lead Democrats in the Senate.
“We had to operate within the target,” Larson said. “Many of us would like to give more money to the University and MnSCU.”
Larson said the University may receive one-time funding from the budget surplus, likely for technology improvements.
Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing, said Gov. Arne Carlson’s budget proposal, which would give the University $145 million, was “out of kilter.”
“The governor gave a clear message that MnSCU is second-rate,” Murphy said. “We passed a budget that is more reasonable.”
— Chris Vetter