When the legislative year began, no one anticipated final agreement on the bonding bill coming in October, but that is what it took to deal with the waves of issues presented to policymakers this year. The final bill, passed October 15, included all three of the capital investment priorities the Medical Alley Association had supported:
- The University of Minnesota Clinical Research Facility Design Financing
- Runway Improvements at Rochester Airport
- City of Maple Grove / Hennepin County – Highway 610 Improvements
We are grateful to legislators for including these projects in the final passage of the bill! Below is more detail on each project, including why we believe they were critical to the continued competitiveness of our community and the state as a whole.
U of M Clinical Research Facility Design Financing
The University of Minnesota is a global leader in clinical research and health innovation, but researchers are dispersed across campus, leading to inefficiencies and slower progress toward discovering new cures. This facility will further advance Minnesota’s clinical research leadership position by unifying the broad array of interdisciplinary activities at the U of M and by facilitating high-quality, innovative interprofessional training of Minnesota’s next health technology and care workforce, so they can address healthcare’s next great challenges.
Above all else, the facility will improve access to advanced treatments and state-of-the-art care for patients and their families.
Rochester Airport Development Grant
Rochester International Airport (RST) is an important local asset with a global impact. Patients from all over the globe fly in and out of RST to receive world-renowned care at the Mayo Clinic, but patients aren’t the only connection between RST and Mayo Clinic: RST receives and transports samples from around the world that help advance new therapies and cures for everything from cancer to COVID-19.
Mayo Clinic is leading the charge against COVID-19 through their research efforts and the incredible testing capacity they stood up as the magnitude of the crisis became clear. Moreover, Mayo Clinic was the leading site in the U.S. program to collect blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to try to fight the virus in others. Strengthening this medical samples supply chain is crucial to advancing the broad array of health innovation happening in our state.
City of Maple Grove/Hennepin County — Highway 610 Improvements
The health technology and care industries have a strong presence along Highway 610. The enterprises that have grown around Highway 610 range from champions in health technology and biopharmaceuticals, to emergency biotechnology and digital health companies. These firms rely on high-quality transportation networks to not only move their life-saving products and supplies, but to get their employees to and from work, their children to school, and their families to various recreational activities. Addressing safety, access, and capacity issues in the Highway 610 project will aid the health technology and care industry, which translates into economic growth for Minnesota.
We want to thank our partners for their help advancing these projects and to the Legislature for including them in the final bonding package.