Session Keeps Swift Pace in Second Week
First bill of session hits Governor’s desk
In the second week of the 2023 session, DFL leaders kept up the fast pace they set last week, and it is clear they are passionate about their priorities this session.
The federal tax conformity bill made it to the governor’s desk in record time, and several other bills are moving quickly through committees.
House Education focuses on School Nutrition
House Education Policy heard a “Universal Meals” proposal, HF5 authored by Rep. Jordan. The bill would provide free meals to all students regardless of income by: (1) requiring schools to participate in the Community Eligibility Provision program; and (2) require state funds to pick up the remaining tab. Republicans pushed back on the proposal, stating that many families can and should pay for their children’s meals. The bill passed out of committee and will be heard in House Education Finance on Wednesday.
House Education Finance held an informational hearing on school nutrition generally. Non-partisan staff presented an overview of school nutrition revenue and free or reduced-price meal eligibility. A representative from the MN School Nutrition Association also provided testimony with a boots-on-the-ground perspective and what’s really going on in school nutrition programs.
Senate Education hears from MDE
Both Senate Education Finance and Policy heard overviews from the department, as well as other agencies. Additionally, Chair Kunesh upheld the tradition of hearing from students at the beginning of the session. Education Finance committee members heard first-hand accounts from students who reported on their education experiences across the state.
This week in Education Committees
Senate Education Finance – Meeting the new Commissioner
On Tuesday, the committee will meet the new Education Commissioner, Willie Jett, and conclude their education finance overview from MDE.
On Wednesday, they will hear SF8 (Kunesh), a one-time supplemental funding bill for school transportation, nutrition, special education. It’s unclear what the pathway is for this bill, but it appears Chair Kunesh is ready to start the conversation on cost pressures affecting school districts.
Senate Education Policy
On Wednesday, they will hear the following bills:
- SF50 (Cwodzinski) – School districts required to provide access to menstrual products for students
- SF123 (Gustafson) – Universal meals
House Education Policy
On Tuesday and Wednesday, they will hear the following bills:
- HF211 (Rep. Keeler) – Establishing Indigenous People’s Day as a state holiday and eliminating Christopher Columbus Day as a state holiday
- HF133 (Rep. Becker-Finn & Rep. Keeler) – Tribally enrolled or descendent student educational data sharing allowed with Tribal nations
- HF170 (Rep. Becker-Finn & Rep. Curran) – Modifying requirements for interpreters
- HF58 (Rep. Richardson) – Dismissal of students in kindergarten through grade 3 prohibited
- HF320 (Rep. Hassan) – Teachers of Color Act strengthened
House Education Finance – Universal Meals
On Tuesday, they will hear presentations from several agencies, including MBSA. On Wednesday, they will hear the following two bills:
- HF 5 (Jordan) – Universal meals
- HF 44 (Feist) – School districts required to provide access to menstrual products for students