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From the Desk of Emily Shields

The 2023 Legislative Session ended at about noon yesterday. We will release our full legislative report later this month and are holding a Session Review webinar on Tuesday, May 16th at 3:30 pm. Please make plans to join us, and more information is below.

Here are a few highlights from the education budget:

  • State General Aid at $228 million ($7.2 million, 3.25% increase)

  • The bill expands the Gap tuition assistance program to remove income provisions, cover support services and noncredit and/or short-term programs (this was one of our legislative priorities).

  • The bill removes the word “instructional” from the community college equipment levy. This expands the eligible uses of this levy to all equipment (this was one of our legislative priorities).

A few other notes:

  • The House and Senate passed HF718 related property taxes. The bill does not change assessed values or impact community college levies. However, Division XIII limits bond elections to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November and requires county commissioners to mail all registered voters notice of a bond election between 10 and 20 days before the election.

  • Language in the education budget bill limits this year’s Last Dollar Scholarship appropriation to students with an expected family contribution of $20,000 or less. The program is at status quo funding of $23 million. Our understanding is that this will mean a deadline of July 1 (instead of August 1) for this year.

  • The bill that would have required us to allow weapons in community college parking lots did not move forward.

  • The bill that would have required additional accommodations and reporting for pregnant students did not move forward.

  • Proposals that would have limited investing and contracting related to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) did not move forward.

Our final bill tracker is below. Anything not on the list did not move forward.

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