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What's in the bills? A summary

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: July 19, 2011 - 10:51 PM

Updated at 8:00 p.m.

Here is a summary of some of the bills that have been released and how they differ from initial proposals. Check back throughout the day as more bills are posted. Those include some of the largest, most contentious appropriations, like K-12 education and health and human services. The total spending listed in bold refers to the state's general fund.

HIGHER EDUCATION - $2.5 BILLION

The final $2.5 billion higher education budget makes significant cuts to the state's funding of colleges and universities. It spends about $60 million more than the original GOP proposal, and $180 million less than Dayton requested.

The University of Minnesota and MnSCU system both sustain a 10.5 percent cut from their 2010-2011 funding levels.

When projected costs for the next two years are factored in, those cuts are deeper. For the U, the budget is a 15.1 percent cut from their projected costs. For MnSCU, that cut is 13.5 percent.

The general fund allocation for MnSCU and the U was $1.09 billion each.

Human cloning restrictions, which may have impacted stem cell research, were nixed. Also eliminated: provisions in the GOP budget that prevented MnSCU and the U from raising tuition more than a certain percentage each year. Tuition restraints remain in place for MnSCU Community Technical Colleges.

The bill spends $361 million on financial aid programs, the exact amount GOP lawmakers wanted. Read the full spreadsheet here.

TRANSPORTATION - $125 MILLION

The transportation budget spends $125 million from the state's general fund, about $63 million more than Republicans originally wanted. That is $55 million less than Dayton's recommendation.

The bill reduces overall general fund transportation spending by about $40 million, or 24 percent, from the 2010-2011 budget.

One of the most significant changes from the original proposals is the funding of Twin Cities transit. Republican lawmakers wanted to cut Met Council funding to about $20 million -- $100 million below current levels. Dayton wanted $129 million.

The two sides agreed to $78 million over the next to years, a $42 million dip from Met Council's take last biennium. In 2014-2015, however, they agreed to Dayton's position of $129 million.

ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES - $238 MILLION

The environment and natural resources budget pays for the Department of Natural Resources, pollution control, the Minnesota Zoo and a variety of parks.

The final $238 million deal is about $37 million more than Republicans wanted to spend. It is about $39 million less than Dayton recommended.

Republicans agreed to spend about $9 million more on the Department of Natural Resources -- $10 million less than Dayton requested. Pollution Control Agency funding rose from $5.6 million in the GOP budget to $10.1 million. Dayton wanted $17 million.

PUBLIC SAFETY AND JUDICIARY - $1.8 BILLION

The final public safety budget spends about $1.8 billion on corrections, courts and law enforcement programs. That is $40 million more than the GOP proposal and $20 million less than Dayton's requests.

In total, the bill spends about $50 million less than the 2010-2011 budget.

The bill spends about $10 million more on the Office of Justice Programs than the GOP budget. That $65 million appropriation for that office is also $6 million below Dayton's recommendation.

The final public safety deal also restores most of the funding Dayton wanted for the Human Rights Department. Dayton requested $6.6 million, while Republicans wanted $2.3 million. They agreed to $6.3 million.

JOBS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT - $170 MILLION

The budget bill that pays for employment and economic development, a relatively small piece of legislation, will spend just over $170 million from the state’s general fund in the next two years, slightly less than recommended by Gov. Mark Dayton.

That is a $25 million reduction from 2010-2011 funding.

The bill creates a new workforce development grant program for young people at a cost of $2.4 million. Overall, all workforce development programs will spend nearly $94 million, the amount requested by Dayton. Another new program will spend $6.2 million on cleaning up contaminated sites around the state.

Several programs funded by the Department of Trade and Economic Development had their budgets cut, including the state Trade Office.

Most of the programs covered by the bill were little changed from the totals originally proposed by Dayton and contained in the bill that he vetoed in May.  -- BOB VON STERNBERG

LEGACY - $450 MILLION

The bill, which uses revenue generated by a special state sales tax for outdoor, parks, arts and cultural projects, represents some of the only new state spending. It creates a new $2.65 million competitive annual grant program for public radio stations, boosts funding to the Historical Society by 15 percent and provides nearly $7 million to regional libraries. It also establishes a new State Capitol Preservation Commission. -- KEVIN DUCHSCHERE

TAXES - $2.9 BILLION

The bill makes permanent reductions in local government aid to cities ($203 million/biennium), county program aid ($64 million/biennium) and the renter’s credit program ($46 million/biennium), but increases the property tax refund program by $30 million. It sells $640 million in bonds backed by tobacco settlement money. Suspends (but doesn’t eliminate) the political contribution refund program for two years. -- KEVIN DUCHSCHERE

 

Click here to read all of the bills and see budget spreadsheets.

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