The in-coming House and Senate DFL majorities are starting to organize their respective assemblies for the new budget session, which begins on January 3, 2023. The House Education Finance committee will be chaired by Rep. Cheryl Youakim (DFL Hopkins). Rep. Youakim chaired the House Education Policy committee in 2019-2020 before taking on the Property Tax committee role. She’s extremely knowledgeable about education funding and school levy issues and works as a paraprofessional in west metro schools. Rep. Laurie Pryor (DFL Minnetonka) will take over as the House Education Policy chair. She’s recently served on the Early Childhood and Health committees.
The Senate will split the E-12 Budget & Policy Division into two committees. The E-12 Budget Division will be chaired by Sen. Mary Kunesh (DFL New Brighton). Sen. Kunesh served as a licensed school media specialist in Robbinsdale schools. The Senate Education Policy Committee will be chaired by Sen. Steve Cwodzinski (DFL Eden Prairie). Sen. Cwodzinkski is a retired social studies teacher from Eden Prairie schools. He’s been the chief author of a bill to require Civics education in 11th and 12th grades as a requirement for graduation.
The November budget forecast will be released soon, potentially this week. All eyes are on the headline number, with estimates of a $9 billion or more surplus. We’ll dig into the data and share more insights at the Advocacy Briefing at 7am on Tuesday, December 13. Watch your MREA communications for registration information.