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Photo of the Minnesota stat capital.

Senate passes two key University bills

On-campus stadium, biomedical sciences facilities authority approved

May 9, 2006

The Minnesota State Senate on May 9 passed two key items of legislation for the University of Minnesota--a bill that would create a special bonding authority for biomedical sciences research facilities, and another bill that would fund an on-campus football stadium.

The bonding authority bill, authored by Sen. Richard Cohen (D-St. Paul), passed by a vote of 51-15. It would create the Minnesota Biomedical Sciences Research Facilities Authority, which would allow $330 million in state general obligation debt to go toward building five new research buildings at the U over the next decade. This would allow the University to add hundreds of scientists dedicated to research in the biomedical sciences, and will enable Minnesota to compete with other states that have passed similar initiatives, including California, New York, Wisconsin, and Arizona.

"Biomedical sciences research is critical to the economic future of our state," said President Bob Bruininks. "This legislation will help Minnesota get its competitive footing to build the Medtronics of tomorrow."

Stadium rally at the Capitol Thursday

Tony Dungy, Golden Gopher great from 1973-76 and current head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, will be in the Twin Cities this week to support bringing Gopher football back to campus. Stadium supporters are invited to stop by to meet Dungy, show their support, and try a Golden Gopher edition of the Krispy Kreme donut, compliments of the Maple Grove Krispy Kreme. The rally will be on Thursday, May 11, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol. For more information about efforts to bring Gopher football back to campus, see Stadium.

The Senate's stadium bill, authored by Sen. Larry Pogemiller (D-Minneapolis), passed by a vote of 34-32. The bill would allow the University to build a $248 million football stadium on the Twin Cities campus at the site of the Huron Avenue parking complex, just east of Mariucci Arena. The House approved a different version of the bill on April 6.

"We're pleased to see a Gopher stadium bill pass both the House and Senate," Bruininks said. "We're grateful to all of the representatives and senators for stepping forward in support of bringing Gopher football back to campus. "The U's plan has been developed over the past three years, raised significant private financial support, and involved thousands of volunteer hours. We're confident the House and Senate will work out their differences to pass a final bill that the governor will sign. The U is prepared to begin work on the stadium immediately."