Higher Education Legislative Update
written by | Ben Ellgen
MinnState presents HEAPR request
This past Wednesday February 13th, Minnesota State presented its $150 million HEAPR request. HEAPR stands for “Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement.” These funds are used to maintain both HVAC systems as well as the structural integrity of buildings across the 54 MinnState campuses. President Robbyn Wacker of St. Cloud State University argued that such funding is necessary to not only promote recruitment and retention of faculty and students, but also to provide safe, warm, and dry facilities. MinnState requested $110 million in statewide HEAPR funding in 2017 and received $25 million from the Legislature (excluding funds for campus-specific projects such as Winona State University’s Education Village).
Looking ahead as the legislative year progresses, bills relating to higher education policy are beginning to be heard in committee. HF 550, a bill that would establish a grant program on behalf student loan debt counseling, and HF 583, a bill that would expand the eligibility to a student loan refinancing program, are both scheduled to be discussed this week.