The Senate Higher Education Committee heard moving testimony this week from people with spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries about their experiences and how new grant money into research could help improve their quality of life. The bill in front of the committee establishes a grant program for Minnesota research institutions to study spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries – which could help the more than 118,000 Minnesotans living with these kinds of injuries.
Grants will be awarded to conduct research into innovative treatment and rehabilitative efforts for people with these types of injuries. Forty percent of the grants will go toward spinal cord injuries, 40% to traumatic brain injuries, and 20% for small business grants.
The small business grant and loan program would provide funding for businesses (under 500 employees) conducting research into treatment and rehabilitative efforts for persons with spinal cord and brain injuries. The bill also creates the spinal cord and brain injury advisory council. The bill specifies who will be on the council; members would serve for a two-year term, with staggered terms for the initial council members.
The bill was passed and moved to the State and Local Government Committee. (S.F. 766)