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Higher Education budget on its way to Gov. Burgum

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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