First details of Minnesota budget come to light, but much left to be decided ahead of deadline

The Higher Education Finance and Policy Working Group in a virtual hearing explained how members hoped to spend roughly $3.5 billion on public colleges and universities in the state. But some on the panel said they weren’t involved in closed discussions about the bill and raised concerns about it.

That working group along with 13 others met in secret over the last three weeks to hash out a plan for funding various state offices, programs and services. And unlike all but two other groups, it hit its deadlines to post a budget outline and bill.

“We did our work as honestly and as earnestly as we possibly could and I think we came up with a good product,” one of the group’s leaders Sen. Dave Tomassoni, I-Chisholm, said. “I’m not disappointed with the outcome. The way we got here probably was not as good as it could’ve been.”

Minority party members of the group, meanwhile, said they’d had no say in what went into the bill and disagreed with the plan they were set to put before the full Legislature next week.

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