Every week, Executive Director Scott Croonquist updates members with information on the legislature, relevant events and current news.
Association of Metropolitan School Districts Update
May 22, 2016
The disappointing 2016 legislative session is rapidly nearing its conclusion. Legislators have until midnight tonight (Sunday) to pass bills. The legislature can meet on Monday to take action on legislative resolutions and listen to retirement speeches, etc. and must adjourn Sine Die by midnight Monday. Agreements have been reached on the supplemental budget bill and a tax bill but legislators are still scrambling to try to reach agreement on a bonding bill and a transportation bill.
Supplemental Budget Bill
The supplemental budget bill conference committee adopted the E-12 article at about 2:00 this morning and then finally approved the full bill around 10:30 this morning. Please know that we were relying on multiple amendments, spreadsheets and other handouts that were distributed in the wee hours this morning and we have not yet seen the final conference committee report so we may very well need to make some corrections/edits to the attached summary after we have an opportunity to review the final bill language.
As you are well aware, the bill does NOT address the special education cross-subsidy or provide a formula increase. The bill includes $25 million to establish a pre-K grant program, $12 million for one-time grants for school support staff, $4.9 million to bring non-metro districts up to the metro level of equity revenue and numerous other grants — most of which are one-time.
School Board Vacancy/Election Bill
The omnibus election bill has been approved by the House and Senate and is on its way to the Governor. The bill restores the ability of school boards to fill a vacancy by appointment but requires that an election be held at the next November election unless the vacancy occurs within 90 of the November election in which case the election could be held at the next November election. The bill also includes the House language to establish a petition process allowing voters to reject a school board appointee.
The omnibus pension bill has been approved by the House and is awaiting a floor vote in the Senate. The bill is a limited version of the sustainability package proposed by TRA. The bill reduces the COLA for current retirees from 2% to 1% effective January 1, 2017 for one year and also eliminates future COLA triggers. The bill does NOT include the proposed 1% employer increase.
We will have additional information for you in the coming days. As a reminder, our guest speakers for the May 27 AMSD Board meeting will be Dr. Tom Melcher and Adosh Unni, J.D., from the MDE who will offer an overview of the education related legislation approved during the 2016 session.
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