As Legislature returns to business today, the focus is setting budget targets and negotiating the details of the final bills.
In these final five weeks, MREA will continue to advocate for increased education targets and 2&2 on the formula, as well as key issues facing schools. Action is needed to address these key issues at play:
- Pending employer increases for TRA
- Teacher shortage by reimbursing districts for teacher development and evaluation activities
- Costs associated with attaining graduate credits for concurrent enrollment staff
- Mid-career and alternative pathways to licensure
- Ag2School tax credit, debt service equalization, and operating referendum equalization
Other needs include special education, small schools and telecom equity funding. View MREA’s platform of the issues.
Steps to Action
As legislators return today, they normally would establish conference committees on the budget bills. Then there is three-way negotiations on each bill, and the conference committees pass reports once a deal is reached with all of the parties.
During this time, there typically has been a three-way negotiations among the Governor, Speaker and Senate Majority Leader on budget and tax targets.
However, there is talk this session that the GOP majorities will write conference committee reports without the Governor’s involvement and put the first budget offer on Dayton’s desk for his consideration. The Governor has been clear that will veto their bills if they look anything like they currently do.
A series of dueling news conferences and private negotiations by leadership will likely follow.
In either scenario, whether or not they can resolve their issues by May 22 remains to be seen.