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MN Management & Budget NEWS RELEASE: Current Law Allocates Entire Balance to Restoring Reserves

(note from CAPM: the news of a budget surplus today is big news as it was expected that MN would be facing another budget deficit).

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St. Paul—Minnesota Management & Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter released the November budget forecast which shows an improvement in the state’s fiscal position. An estimated $876 million dollar balance is projected for the 2012-13 biennium, all of which is used to restore state reserves.

The 2011 fiscal year closed with revenues $358 million higher than expected and expenditures $205 million below prior estimates. Projected revenues for the 2012-13 biennium are expected to be relatively unchanged and projected expenditures are anticipated to be $348 million less. The combination of these factors yields a projected $876 million balance. The majority of projected expenditure reductions are accounted for in the Health and Human Services area.

Long-standing state statute is triggered by this forecast balance, directing this balance to the state’s cash flow account ($255 million) and the budget reserve ($621 million). If the balance were larger, current law would direct the additional dollars to buy-back the K-12 education shift.

“This is obviously good news and a helpful break from recurring budget gaps. It’s also a reminder that Minnesota still has some significant strengths – above average economic performance and the discipline to quickly stabilize its finances. Future risk remains, but at least we now have a cushion,” Schowalter said.

Forecast economic growth is projected down for the remainder of 2011 and 2012 compared to the February forecast but Minnesota continues to slightly outperform the national U.S. economy.

The forecast shows a projected deficit of $1.3 billion for fiscal years 2014-15.

A complete report of the November forecast can be found on the MMB website at www.mmb.state.mn.us.

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2011 in Legislative, Press Release

 

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The K-12 Education Bill: How it will affect Parents, Teachers and Schools

                The K-12 Education had undergone several changes in the past few months. The final version of it was signed by Governor Dayton on July 20th. Changes in some of policies will affect students, teachers and schools in areas, such as, assessment and funding.

This summary was written by Christina Wong, CAPM education policy intern.

Changes Affecting Parents and Families

Scholarships

Students who receive their high school diplomas early can get up to $7,500 in college scholarships and a cash grant award for those who enter military service. There will also be a scholarship program that helps low-income families pay for public or private preschool.

“Full-Service” School Zones

“Full-service” school zones will be created that will allow a number of provider to reach kids and families at the school level with everything from health care to job-seeking assistance.

Click “read more” to view changes to schools and teachers. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2011 in Community news, Legislative

 

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Concerns about Education and Health and Human Services Legislative Cuts

Click here for the full brief on health legislation

CAPM is concerned about cuts affecting Mental Health Care, Refugee and Immigrant Access to Health Care, and care for the Elderly, Disabled, and Low-income

  • Mental health remains to be a top concern of the Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) community, especially with high levels of depression, suicide, and PTSD.
  • CAPM is troubled by accounts of refugees arriving in the US with no support or introduction on how to secure basic needs such as housing, school enrollment for children, etc. Elimination of health care coverage could exacerbate refugee population’s ability to reclaim security and independence in their lives.
  • CAPM is concerned that many of these cuts would negatively impact APIA individuals and families with elderly, disabled, and/or low-income statuses. The loss of health care and safety net programs could create more educational and economic barriers, especially for families with children.

Click here for the full brief on education legislation

  • CAPM is concerned that cuts to integration revenue, compensatory aid, special education, and adult basic education would negatively impact communities needing the most educational support
 
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Posted by on April 12, 2011 in CAPM news, Legislative

 

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Conference Committees starting to form

Not all of the conferees have been named yet and you can find updates at MPR news. Click the read more link to see the conferees.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2011 in Legislative

 

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MN Dept. of Health releases fact sheets about DHS programs

MN Department of Health

Fact sheets about MN Dept. of Health programs, initiatives and systems that were added or updated during March:

Note: many of these changes are based on Governor Dayton’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2012 and 2013. The legislature is considering a dramatically different approach with all-cuts solutions to the state budget deficit and DHS programs are likely to face larger reductions under the legislature’s proposal.

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2011 in Legislative

 

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CAPM and Council on Black Minnesotans opposed to integration cuts

school Photographer koratmember

photo credits to koratmember

Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans and Council on Black Minnesotans are opposed to integration and compensatory funding cuts in House Education Finance Omnibus bill.

On March 30, 2011, 2:30 AM, the MN House passed the Omnibus Education Bill, which eliminates the rule requiring integrated schools in Minnesota, cuts integration funding for Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth, and freezes special education and Adult Basic Education funding. As an example of the impact of these cuts, Minneapolis Public Schools alone would lose about $17 million or $480 per student from integration funding cuts.

Families, students, and community leaders are deeply concerned about the shifting of funds from metro area schools with high levels of poverty to other parts of the state. The integration funding and compensatory aid funds are currently used to eliminate segregation in our schools and to close the educational achievement gap. The Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans and Council on Black Minnesotans maintain that the proposed cuts and freezes fundamentally undermine Minnesota’s efforts to reduce our state’s achievement gap and to promote educational equity.

While we recognize that funding in education is limited and needs more accountability and effective use, we maintain that the proposed cuts and freezes in education funding is not the answer. These cuts and freezes would disproportionately impact metro area schools whose populations are largely made up students of color and low-income students. These drastic cuts and freezes should not be made at the expense of our children and their future.

View the Letter from CAPM and CBM opposing integration cuts

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2011 in CAPM news, Legislative

 

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Legislature proposes cuts to integration and compensatory funding in education

Press Release, 3/22/11

The House Education Finance Omnibus Bill recently heard and passed this week includes cuts to integration dollars (used to help integrate racially isolated schools) and compensatory aid (aid for low-income, free/reduced lunch students).

As an example of the impact of these cuts, Minneapolis Public Schools alone would lose about $17 million or $480 per student from integration funding cuts.

While the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans recognizes that funding in education is limited and needs more accountability and effective use, we maintain that a total elimination of these funds is not the answer. Reductions to Special Education and Adult Basic Education funding is also of great concern for the Council. These cuts would disproportionately impact schools whose populations are largely made up of Asian Pacific students and other students of color.

  • Integration and Compensatory Funding cuts would mainly hit Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth areas and therefore disproportionately affecting students of color and harming efforts to close the achievement gap.
  • Cuts to transportation would limit the efforts to improve interracial contact for students.
  • Elimination of special education funding will force school districts to use general dollars from other programs, reducing total school effectiveness.

What the community can do:

Please consider writing a letter of your concerns to the governor, your district’s legislators or legislators on Senate and House education committees. Everyone is concerned about the achievement gap but let them know your specific concerns on addressing the achievement gap.

  • Mention if you are a student or parent of a student impacted by school programs or services funded by integration or compensatory aid and if those programs are beneficial.
  • Watch the video of 3 young Asian Minnesotan students who had great courage to testify on what integration in their schools meant to them. Follow their courage. [Skip to 04:33:00, testimony is about 3-4 minutes long]. http://livestre.am/FEzX
  • Ask questions, contact the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans at capm [at] state.mn.us to learn more about this issue and ask how your concerns can be best heard at the capitol

students testifying

Students from Central, White Bear Lake and Woodbury testifying

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2011 in Legislative

 

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MN GOP release budget targets

3/14/2011 Update: MN Budget Bites has a nice table summary of all proposed budget targets at their website.

 

GOP logo

Senate Republican leadership released their chamber’s budget-cutting targets today. Most of the cuts fell in the areas of health and human services, tax aids and credits and state government spending.

  • Health and human services will be cut by $1.6 billion
  • $780 million reduction to tax aids and credits,
  • $500 million from state government and veterans
  • $400 million cut in the area of higher education.
  • Jobs and Economic Growth will also see a $65 million cut.

Only two areas appear to have been spared from cuts – judiciary and public safety and K-12 education.

The targets set up a framework for committees as they race toward a March 25 deadline for all finance bills in the Legislature.

Leadership was mute on details, refusing to name specific programs that might get the ax while acknowledging that they have an idea where some of these cuts might land. “This is a framework, there are no details here,” Geoff Michel said. “That’s what the committee process is for.”

Source of this information is Politics in Minnesota.

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2011 in Legislative

 

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