Leading into the 2019 Minnesota legislative session, Medical Alley Association put forward a comprehensive legislative agenda designed to highlight the existing health innovation and care industry in Minnesota and opportunities for the legislature to spur investment and growth. The contents of the legislative agenda were inspired by a report entitled Realizing the Vision – the product of working groups convened by Medical Alley Association. These working groups were charged with putting together a 10-year vision that will result in Medical Alley being recognized as the global epicenter of health innovation and care. They identified four challenges that need to be overcome in order to realize this vision. Those challenges are what guided the development of our legislative agenda.
Medical Alley Association worked with our members, patient advocacy groups, other trade associations, and interested parties to develop legislation embodying this agenda. We then worked with these allies to identify legislators who might be interested in authoring the individual pieces of legislation and had them introduced. By midway through the legislative session, bills were introduced in both the House and Senate to accomplish this legislative agenda.
Although not every bill was passed and signed into law, several of them were. The Angel Tax Credit Program was reinstated and funded at $10 million for 2019 and 2021. The SciTechsperience Internship Program was funded for another two years. A state-level rare diseases advisory council was established at the University of Minnesota and was funded for four years. Each of these are significant accomplishments and would not have been possible without the hard work of each bill’s chief author and of Medical Alley Association members. More detail on each of them can be found later in this recap.