House approves Higher Education budget

The Minnesota House of Representatives passed a proposed Higher Education budget on Wednesday, according to a news release.

The bill, House File 2073, was authored by Rep. Gene Pelowski(DFL-Winona) and passed 69-58.

The bill for 2024-25 will fund the Office of Higher Education, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, the University of Minnesota campuses, the Mayo Clinic Medical School, and Minnesota’s Tribal Colleges.

Annually, the Higher Education budget invests $10.75 million in scholarships to students pursuing high-demand jobs, $12.5 million in equipment to better serve workforce demands, and $6.75 million in industry-specific programming.

The budget additionally provides $1 million each to Leech Lake Tribal College, White Earth Tribal College, and Red Lake Nation Tribal College each year.

The University of Minnesota will receive one-time funding to address the $48 million tuition shortfall. The budget will also fully fund the University’s systemwide safety and security request of $10 million, adding an additional $5 million per year.

This year’s budget also includes a fully-funded tuition freeze at Minnesota State for two years, saving students $75 million.

“Minnesotans deserve a higher education system that is affordable, accessible, and prepares them for the workforce of tomorrow,” said Rep. Pelowski, Chair of the House Higher Education Committee. “There is a great need in higher education, and this balanced budget is an appropriate response to years of disinvestment.”