It may be summertime, but I am spending a lot of my time in school these days, visiting colleges and universities in my role as chairman of the House Higher Education Committee.
That includes stopping by M State in Fergus Falls on Tuesday to hear about a bonding request the school is making for remodeling purposes. Members of the House Capital Investment Committee were on hand and heard about the school's plans to bring its workforce center and the programs it runs onto the campus, which would be a big benefit for students. This project is one of MnSCU's top priorities and the school would contribute a portion of the $1 million price tag.
I also made a recent trip to the University of Minnesota-Duluth to learn more about an initiative bringing top brain researchers to our state. Specifically, experts are working to further techniques for treating patients with advanced cases of Parkinson's disease and other brain conditions. There are promising developments on this topic and it is encouraging to hear what may be in store in terms of making procedures more accessible and reliable. Click here for coverage of this meeting in the Duluth News-Tribune.
Leaders at the U of M-Morris also have invited me to visit their campus and I plan to do that soon. This will be a good opportunity to spend time hearing about advancements they are making at that school and I look forward to learning more.
We are in the process of scheduling meetings at other colleges and universities around the state once classes resume in the fall. The 2016 session is not a budget year, but we will be working on a number of other important issues. I will circle back with more details as the Legislature gets closer to reconvening March 8 at the Capitol.
Until then, I hope your summer is going well. We have been blessed with exceptional weather this season and people have been very active on the lakes in our area – Pelican Rapids, Perham, Fergus Falls, Battle Lake and beyond. It also appears crops are doing well and this could be a good year for the ag. sector, which would be a big plus for our state's economy.