Hillmann talks about the 22-23 school budget; Smith authors “Assuring Innovation Act”; Fundraising at the Nate Community Garage tomorrow
By Rich Larson, News Director
Northfield School District Superintendent Dr. Matt Hillmann presented the proposed budget for the 2021-2022 school year to the Northfield School Boarding Monday evening. And although the district is in a decent financial position, the Covid-19 pandemic has taken its toll.
The proposed budget is $ 57 million, which is $ 1.1 million less than the budget for the current year. The proposed spending will be $ 59.8 million and, although this amount is slightly lower than the current year, this creates a deficit of $ 2.8 million.
Dr Hillmann said there are several factors that allow the district to cope with a deficit. The first is the money they keep in reserve. Each year the district tries to keep 16% of the budget in a reserve fund, and for many years it has succeeded. Reserves alone will cover the spending gap but will only leave 14% in reserve next year.
Additionally, there is an unknown amount of money coming to the district through the US bailout. Hillmann said the amount will most likely be $ 2.5 million, but since this is not a definitive number, the amount has been completely excluded from the proposed budget.
To complicate matters, he said, it’s unclear how much the state will send to the district. Like most school districts, Northfield receives 70% of its education revenue from the state of Minnesota. With the legislature currently in session, the district just doesn’t know what increase, if any, will be in the basic formula for state-level school funding. Negotiations take place between 0 and 2%. With some kind of increase likely, the district budget provides for an increase of half a percent.
Dr Hillmann said some members of the legislature point to federal funds received from Covid-19 relief plans as a reason not to increase funding for schools this year. That, he said, would not be the way the funds were supposed to be used.
“I think there is talk in the legislature about the infusion of federal funds and how it could be useful for schools, the state therefore does not have to do as much as it normally does. I would say that federal funds are aimed at stability and recovery in unprecedented economic times, and the increase in the base formula is to keep trying to have future trajectory for schools in Minnesota. “
Hillmann also said the district projects a drop in enrollment after the 21-22 school year, which will require what he called “budget prioritization” in the years to come.
Jeff Johnson’s full conversation with Dr Matt Hillmann can be heard here
Smith works to keep drug prices low
Last week, President Biden enacted the law guaranteeing innovation. The bill was co-sponsored by Republican Senator from Louisiana Bill Cassidy and Democratic Senator Tina Smith from Minnesota. Senator Smith said the new law will prevent pharmaceutical manufacturers from claiming new innovations when they make trivial changes to their products. These claims allow them to extend the life of their patents and prevent equivalent generic drugs from entering the market, keeping prices high.
The senator said that at present, pharmaceutical companies engage in “permanent renewal”, which allows them to extend their patents when they make minor changes to a drug, such as adding salt. or switching the drug from pill form to gel-cap. The Food and Drug Administration has attempted to end the practice by only granting these patent extensions to drugs that truly have a new chemical entity, but a district court ruling invalidated the agency’s ability to block this practice. The law ensuring innovation, Smith said, will remove a legal loophole and allow the FDA to end the practice.
Smith said the purpose of the law was to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. She said she was grateful for the work done by the big pharmaceutical companies, but they do not give them the right to rip off the consumer.
“Do not mistake yourself. I mean, it’s because of the drug companies that we have a vaccine that is able to protect us from Covid-19. But when their power is so great that they are actually drive drug prices are rising in this country to a level that we do not see anywhere else in the world, we duty stand up and we have to say we’re not going to put up with it.
Senator Smith said the FDA will now be able to write new rules so everyone knows what the process is, and Americans should start to feel the impact of the new law this summer.
Jeff Johnson’s full conversation with U.S. Senator Tina Smith can be heard here
security checks for a great cause
And this Saturday, car owners will be able to bring their vehicles to the Nate Community Garage in Cannon Falls for a security check and support a voucher. cause at the same time.
Nate Icaza, the owner of Nate’s garage, said the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Department will conduct their Clear See and Drive Safe procedure at the garage. Technicians will check a car’s battery, wipers, and light bulbs. They will also supplement the car’s wiper fluid. A car seat technician will also be on hand to instruct you in the proper use and installation of a child car seat.
There is a suggested donation of $ 10 for the service. This money will be used to support Nate’s Community Garage, which is a non-profit facility that helps veterans and low-income people keep their cars running and on the road by replacing items like tires, brakes, bearings. wheel and offering other security services for little. free of charge.
Icaza has stated that Napa Auto Parts of Cannon Falls is a co-sponsor of the program. Nate’s Community Garage is located at 1717 North Highway 20 in Cannon Falls. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, visit natescommunitygarage.org or find their Facebook page under Nate’s Garage.
Jeff Johnson’s full conversation with Nate Icaza can be heard here