The Minnesota Legislature reconvenes this week after a weeklong break for Easter holiday and faces a May 21 deadline to complete their work. There is a significant amount of committee work to be done in the next two weeks as bills make their way for final approval.

The deadline for finance bills in the House and Senate to be approved by their respective Ways and Means and Finance Committees is April 20. To achieve that deadline, the House Education Finance and Senate E-12 Finance Committees will be “marking up” their bills this week. This means all action in the education finance committees on these finance bills will occur this week.

In preparation for this week, MREA wishes to thank the superintendents and business managers from 72 Minnesota school districts who took time last week, on very short notice, to provide some rough estimates of the costs of proposed new mandates. MREA will use this information in testimony and communications this week and throughout the rest of the legislative session.

Here’s a look at a few items in play just before the break:

A series of new mandates that have been proposed for schools received initial approval just before the break and are moving toward a final vote. View the list.

School safety will remain a key topics of conversation with a variety of ideas proposed, including using state bonding dollars.  Learn more.

Efforts to stabilize TRA this session gained widespread support and has been included in the governor’s supplemental budget proposal. Learn more.

Just before break, two differing approaches were presented to address Special Education and the growing cross subsidy. Learn more.

Work also is underway to provide better financing tools for cooperative facilities that serve high-need students.  Learn more.

Broadband access will gain attention this week as advocates gather for Broadband at the Hill on Thursday. Learn more.