Greetings from St. Paul, where one of this week’s highlights was conducting a Higher Education Committee meeting at Saint Paul College, just across I-94 from the Capitol.
Our visit included a tour of the college’s facility and, as chairman of the committee, I came away impressed with the school and the courses it makes available. They really cover the gamut, including training in robotics and welding. It is a good example of an institution of higher learning meeting demands of citizens.
State education officials and students alike appeared as presenters to the committee and our meeting was broadcast to colleges throughout our state. The speakers were not seeking any specific action from the committee and it was informational in nature.
An interesting item pertaining to higher education made headlines this week when Gov. Mark Dayton announced he proposes putting $30 million more over the next two years toward the University of Minnesota Medical School. This deserves thorough discussions and I look forward to examining the details. It is good to have a strong field of doctors in our state and the training process is lengthy, meaning we need long-term vision.
If the U of M can be an even greater institution and bring us the next generations of doctors to us – and worldwide – that is good. We also need to consider the overall investment and think about how other factors come into play with the implementation of MNsure in our state. Increased regulation and growing debt levels could be stifling the pipeline of candidates.
As for other news from the Capitol, I was pleased meet this week with a group representing the Alzheimer’s Association from Fergus Falls. This is a very important subject as we face the challenges of an aging society, the Gray Tsunami, as some folks call it. I appreciated the input I received during our meeting.
There also were hundreds of people at the Capitol to attend a March for Life rally this week. I am proud to support their cause.