Senate approves 2 huge budget bills on education, health


After a long day of debate, the Minnesota Senate on Thursday approved two key budget bills that would account for more than two-thirds of the state budget, the Pioneer Press reports.

Senate lawmakers voted 35-28 in approving a $15.6 billion education bill that would pay for statewide all-day kindergarten and boost the state's general education funding formula, the newspaper reports. Plunging ahead late into the night, senators then debated and ultimately approved a bill on a 36-28 vote that includes $11.2 billion for state health and human service programs.

The bills cover two years of spending beginning in July, and the two measures differ from the House versions, the Pioneer Press notes. Now Senate-House negotiators must work out the differences as they also tussle over disagreements in creating major tax changes for the state.

The House this week approved a bill that would raise $2.6 billion in new taxes, but the Senate is expected next week to debate a measure that would raise $1.8 billion in new taxes.

The Senate education bill also creates a controversial transition to a new testing system that focuses on career and college goals, the Star Tribune reports. It's advocates say the new tests provide earlier and better help to students who fall behind, but critics say scrapping a strict graduation test requirement means the state is lessening the value of a high school diploma, the newspaper reports.

Meanwhile Thursday, the House on an 86-44 vote approved a higher education financing package designed to boost higher education funding by $150 million and freeze undergraduate tuition at public colleges for two years, the Associated Press reported.

There are just a handful of budget bills left to be debated and voted on on House and Senate floors, the AP notes. Lawmakers hope to wrap up their work for the session next month.

Next Up

covid-19, coronavirus, PPE

Nov. 29 COVID-19 update: 57 deaths, nearly 9,000 more cases

Nearly 100,000 tests were included in Sunday's report.

jim ramstad

Watch former Rep. Jim Ramstad's memorial service online

The ceremony will be live-streamed for the public on Sunday.


How high can Rashod Bateman go in the 2021 NFL Draft?

The Gophers star receiver has plenty of praise heading into next April.

TCF Bank Stadium

15 more from Gopher football team test positive for COVID-19

That brings the total number of cases from this outbreak to 40.

Teddy Bridgewater

5 questions for Vikings-Panthers Week 12 NFC battle

The Vikings welcome Teddy Bridgewater back to U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.

police lights

Shelter-in-place in Albert Lea after police officer shot in the chest

The officer was able to drive to an emergency room.


St. Paul officer shoots man who got out of dumpster, ran towards police

A report says the man was naked and had a steak knife.

Screen Shot 2020-11-28 at 6.58.11 PM

Gophers dominate second half to defeat Loyola-Marymount

Marcus Carr scored 26 to send the Gophers to 2-0.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Kandiyohi Co. man airlifted after hand caught in corn picker

Corn pickers are a common cause of farm accidents.

White tail deer

DNR: Passenger shot at deer out of driver's side window

The DNR said 'all sense of safety was disregarded.'