A compromise higher education budget bill ready for a final vote at the Minnesota Legislature is getting good marks from both sides of the aisle, including the Walz administration.  Office of Higher Education Commissioner Dennis Olson:

“A strong higher ed bill here…. A strong compromise for all.”

The bill caps annual tuition increases at three-and-a-half percent in the state college and university system, increases grants to low- and middle-income families, ups funding for scholarship programs — and backers say it will reduce textbook costs.  Minnesota State and the U-of-M get a smaller funding increase than requested, but key lawmakers appear satisfied with the amount:

Vernon Center Republican Senator Julie Rosen:  “Senator Tomassoni, you got exactly what you asked for, didn’t you?”

Chisholm Independent Dave Tomassoni:  “If I had known that, madame chair, I woulda asked for more.”

Rosen:  “Nice try, Senator Tomassoni.”

Under the bill, Minnesota State receives about a 56-million-dollar increase — less than half the 120-milllion they requested.  The U-of-M gets about a 38-million-dollar bump — versus 46 million they asked for.