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Minnesota Legislature

Bioscience infrastructure grants

Published (5/1/2009)
By Nick Busse
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State colleges and universities would be eligible for bioscience business infrastructure grants, under a bill awaiting action by the governor.

Sponsored by Rep. Tim Mahoney (DFL-St. Paul) and Sen. Kathy Sheran (DFL-Mankato), HF868/SF684* would make the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system eligible to receive money under the state’s bioscience business development infrastructure program.

The program, run by the Department of Employment and Economic Development, allows state General Obligation bonds to be used for grants to cover capital costs for bioscience-related business facilities.

Currently only local governments are eligible for the grants. Mahoney said the bill would address issues at Minnesota State University, Mankato and the University of Minnesota Morris — both of which intend to go ahead with bioscience projects previously authorized by the Legislature.

“They were both awarded money in the last bonding bill, but they can’t accept it,” Mahoney explained.

In addition, the bill would specify that local governments or institutions receiving grant money must pay for at least half of the cost of the completed project using non-state funds.

It was passed unanimously, 134-0, by the House April 29. The Senate passed it 62-3 on March 5.

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