Posted: Tuesday, 25 January 2011 3:42PM

AUDIO -- Sheran Bill Would Allow College Students On City Council

ST. PAUL – State Senator Kathy Sheran (DFL-Mankato) has introduced a bill that would allow a full-time student at a public or private college to serve as a non-voting, ex officio member of the city council.

The city council would be for the community in which their college or university is located.
Sheran says she was approached to carry the bill by two, Minnesota State University students. Thomas Williams and Brett Anderson are the President and Vice President of the Minnesota State Student Association.
“I think these two students have found a way to allow students to participate,” said Sheran.
She says the bill is not a mandate and there is no obligation for city councils to participate. The League of Minnesota Cities met with Sheran and the two MSU students to go over the language of the bill.
Sheran says the League isn’t taking a position on the bill.
“The language of the bill allows for this to happen in a way that works for cities should they want to do it,
 said Sheran.
But before the bill’s first hearing, which has yet to be scheduled, Sheran says there be several changes to the version currently online for viewing.
“It’s fluid,” says Sheran.
A provision that the ex offico member must be a member of the institution which has the largest number of students will be stricken.

“We want to leave it up to the cities to determine how they will select (the member),” according to Sheran.
Also set to be changed is the two-thirds city council vote requirement for participation. Sheran says that will be changed to 50 percent.
The only requirement would be for the city to have at least one “institution of higher education.”


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