This memo summarizes the provisions in the Omnibus Higher Education Bill as adopted by the Senate and House on April 27, 2012, and signed by the Governor on May 2, 2012.
Section 1 specifies that a Minnesota public postsecondary institution must grant a waiver from its required student health insurance plan coverage if the student requests the waiver and the student has health insurance coverage from another source including employer group coverage, private insurance, association group coverage, health sharing organizations, and MinnesotaCare. An institution must notify students of the right to request the waiver.
Section 2 adds to the list of students exempted from having to submit a statement of immunization prior to enrolling in a Minnesota public or private postsecondary institution.
Section 3 makes technical corrections.
Sections 4 and 5 apply to MnSCU institutions. Section 4 directs each college and university to compile a course schedule indicating each course offered by the institution that includes, to the extent practicable, specified course information. The information must be published on the college or university’s Web site. Section 5 directs an instructor or department to notify a bookstore of the final order for required and recommended course material at least 45 days prior to the beginning of the term. Requires the submission of additional course material information, by bookstores, at least 30 days prior to the beginning of the term for which the course materials are required. Defines “custom textbooks.”
Section 6 makes a technical correction. This section is effective July 1, 2012.
Section 7 provides for the continued operation of MnSCU colleges and universities during a budget impasse. This section is effective July 1, 2012.
Section 8 increases the MnSCU Board of Trustees' authorization to issue revenue bonds from $300 million to $405 million.
Section 9 updates the college savings program’s definition of “contingent account owner.”
Section 10 reallocates money distributed to the permanent university fund mineral research account. Beginning January 1, 2013, 50percent of the income must be allocated as follows: one-half, up to $50 million, is allocated to the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) for mineral and mineral-related research; the other half, up to $25 million is credited to an endowment to support the operating costs of, and scholarships for students in, a mining, metallurgical, or related engineering program offered through the University of Minnesota at the Mesabi Range Community and Technical College. The maximum scholarship award per academic year for a student enrolled in the mining, metallurgical, or related engineering program must not exceed $6,500, and is available for a maximum of four academic years.
Income in excess of the $50 million to NRRI, and any income in excess of the $25 million for the engineering program must be credited to the endowed scholarship account for distribution to resident undergraduate students attending the University of Minnesota.
Section 11 exempts a school that provides nonacademic programs from state regulation. This section is effective retroactively from August 1, 2008.
Sections 12 and 13 expand eligibility requirements for the Safety Officers Survivors Benefit program to include both undergraduate and graduate enrollment. Clarifies that eligibility is limited to five academic years or the equivalent for both undergraduate and graduate study. Defines “tuition maximum” and “full time” for the purpose of calculating awards under this program. Sections 12 and 13 are effective retroactively from July 1, 2011.
Section 14 directs the MnSCU Board of Trustees to establish a work group to study methods that result in lower textbook costs. Delineates issues to be examined by the work group.
Section 15 directs the Board of Regents to transfer $645,000 in fiscal year 2012 and $645,000 in fiscal year 2013 from the appropriations made to the Board for operations and maintenance in Laws 2011, First Special Session chapter 5, article 1, section 5, to the Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) for graduate family medicine education programs at HCMC. This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Section 16 directs the Minnesota Board of Teaching to submit recommendations to eliminate lower priority tests or assessments to offset additional fees charged to students for the teacher performance assessment, to the committees of the legislature responsible for K-12 and higher education finance and policy, by January 15, 2013.