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Higher Education budget on its way to Gov. Burgum

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The budget bill for higher education is normally one of the last bills the Legislature acts on before adjournment.

But not this time.

Sen. Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks) told the Senate that in presenting the bill, as the House amended it, he was channeling Julius Caesar.

"Veni, vidi, vici," Holmberg said. "To use my vernacular -- we came, we saw, we concurred."

The comment drew laughter from the Senate chamber.

The Senate had earlier passed the bill unanimously.

Holmberg said after the House got the bill, it reduced the $556 million the Senate had approved in general fund spending on the colleges and universities by $329,000.

"We felt, that was not much of a change," Holmberg said. "And you in the Senate have already said you liked what we had done."

The bill passed unanimously a second time, with the House amendments.

The Board of Higher Education had also gone on-record supporting the Senate's version.

Still unresolved is the issue of the "Challenge grants," where the state matches $1 for every $2 raised by college foundations. That's in SB 2030, which is in a conference committee.

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