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This Week in Lansing...

FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2013

 

Committee Weighs MPSERS Funding: This week, the House Financial Liability Reform Committee took testimony but did not vote on House Bill 4190 (Farrington), which would require school districts to calculate their MPSERS contributions based on their cost of operating expenditures, rather than on payroll.  This idea arose during last year’s debate over MPSERS reform as a way to address costs that are “stranded” when school districts privatize non-core functions or otherwise shed payroll.  Although the concept did not make it into last year’s law, addressing stranded costs remains a concern for many legislators.  At this point, HB 4190 would not change the way MPSERS contributions are calculated for community colleges.  For the full text and analysis of the bill, please click here.

2013 - 2014 Community College Budget Advances: Both the Senate Appropriations Committee and the House Appropriations Committee took action on funding for community colleges.  Points of difference between the House and Senate budgets which will be resolved as the process moves forward are as follows:

1.      $1.1 million for the VLC enhancements.  The House has removed this funding along with many of the program increases in all of the budgets in order to dedicate more money to roads and other priorities.  Senate retains the funding.

2.      New language to restrict the 2% increase to those institutions that have not entered into long-term labor contracts without 10% savings.  House budget includes this language, Senate does not.

3.      Language requiring the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget to report on the number of students that successfully complete a skilled trades program and obtain an apprenticeship or job.  Senate includes this language, House does not.

4.      Language stating that it is the intent of the legislature that each college shall work with the House and Senate Community College subcommittees, the Michigan Community College Association, and Veterans groups to review the issue of in-district tuition for Veterans of this state when determining tuition rates and fees.  Senate includes this language, House does not.

To view the House Fiscal Agency analysis of the current House bill, please click here.  To view the Senate Fiscal Agency analysis of the current Senate bill, please click here.

Michigan Merit Curriculum: The discussion about possible changes to the state’s Merit Curriculum for high school students continued Wednesday as the House Education Committee took further testimony on House Bills 4465 (McBroom) and 4466 (Johnson).  Along with several other bills introduced this session, HB’s 4465 and 4466 raise the question of whether the current curriculum allows sufficient flexibility for students, particularly those interested in pursuing vocational and technical coursework.  To see comments submitted so far by the organizations weighing in, please click here and select any of the most recent documents from the “Testimony” drop-down menu.

 

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