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News & Press: MPMA News

Workforce Wednesday: Conference Committee Work Begins

Wednesday, April 26, 2017  
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This week, the Jobs Conference Committee will begin meeting to "walk-through" the bill and start adopting "same and similar" provisions.

The House and Senate passed bills with provisions that differ from each other, so conference committees are needed to reconcile differences and agree on a final bill for presentation to Gov. Mark Dayton. Conference committees consist of three to five members (called “conferees”) from each of the House and Senate. The House and Senate conferees for the Jobs omnibus bill are:

Senate

House

Jeremy Miller

Pat Garofalo

Gary Dahms

Jim Newberger

Dave Osmek

Joe Hoppe

Paul Anderson

Marion O'Neill

Bobby Joe Champion

Tim Mahoney

The policy language for MPMA’s Youth Skills Training program is a "same" so it will be adopted early in the process of reconciling the bill.

The Senate version also carries some funding for implementation and grants, which isn't in the House version. MPMA Lobbyist Amy Walstien is working with elected representatives in the House to adopt the Senate's funding recommendations. She met with several members of the conference committee last week, and will continue to meet with them throughout the conference committee process.

Outside the state Legislature, there has been significant conversations about skilled workforce issues.

  • Sen. Al Franken held his “Advancing Career Pathways Summit” April 17, at Saint Paul College, which was attended by 350 educators, business leaders, policy leaders, and students from across Minnesota (view article here).
  • The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry PIPELINE Project Advanced Manufacturing Industry Council met April 17 to discuss updates to the program and changes in the advanced manufacturing industry. DLI shared information about how they are starting to plan to use the "student learner" exemption that MPMA has been advocating. Under current law, the exemption could be used for programs approved by Department of Education, but if the Youth Skills Program bill is passed, DLI can be the agency approving "student leaner" programs.
  • The Center of the American Experiment sponsored a program April 19, to kick off their "Great Jobs Without a Four-Year Degree" project featuring author Nicholas Eberstadt and his book "Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis." Many legislators attended the program, and there were some great conversations with legislators who want to do more work next session on retooling CTE programs, similar to what Rep. Jim Nash proposed this session with his VPSEO bill.