Students at the University of Minnesota are back on campus today, kicking off a new academic year of learning and engaging the community. But the start of school this year is marred by inaction from the GOP controlled Minnesota House.
Special session negotiations broke down when Speaker Daudt and Republicans refused to compromise, halting a number of bills that impact students at the university. Of the bills the leaders couldn’t agree on were transportation and bonding, two important issues affecting university students.
Because of the GOP House’s poor leadership, $66.7 million in bonding for the University of Minnesota’s requested Health Sciences Education Facility was withheld from the U. On top of that, millions of dollars in supplemental budget funding for the University of Minnesota’s Health Training Restoration Initiative won’t be awarded to the school.
In addition, Republicans in the House failed to compromise on taxes AND transportation for the last two years, leading to gridlock and inaction. Their two year budget in 2015 originally proposed just $1 in education funding for every $13 in tax giveaways. Thankfully, Governor Dayton and the DFL Senate prevented their plan from becoming reality.
Students at the U and across Minnesota deserve to start on a level playing field. With a healthy state budget and a surplus, we deserve an agenda that benefits a better future for all of us, not just the wealthy.