Skip to main content

Our Voice

U2FP's Blog > Keeping you current on the movement to cure paralysis

Urgent - Call Today to Preserve MN SCI/TBI Research Grant Bill

Our battle to preserve the Minnesota SCI/TBI Research Grant Program continues. And we need everyone from everywhere (any state or country) to raise your voice.

Please call Governor Tim Walz and Rep. Connie Bernardy today before 3pm central time.  This is when the Higher Education Finance and Policy Committee is meeting. And if you want to go the extra mile, call all the members of this committee; you can find their numbers here.

3pm Central Time is when the Higher Education Finance and Policy Committee will be meeting to discuss our bill. They need to hear from everyone, everywhere, about the necessity of preserving this funding.

When you call, you can just say something like this: "I'm calling to urge the Governor and Rep. Bernardy to preserve funding for the Minnesota SCI/TBI Research Grant Program within the Office of Higher Education. I am a [family/friend/person with an SCI] and this program is vital to our community. It is making an impact in Minnesota and beyond, and is a model for other states and countries."

In case you forgot, the Minnesota SCI/TBI Research Grant Program was passed in 2015 and has done the following:

  • $13M for SCI research since 2015
  • studies were selected by an advisory board that included SCI Community members
  • 35 studies have been funded so far
  • over 60 people have experienced a meaningful intervention, with implications for many more

We turned a corner in the last week, gaining the support of Minnesota Senator David Tomassoni - he’s the Senate Chair of the Higher Education Finance and Policy Committee. This was thanks to you!

Now, we must ensure that Governor Walz (who has proposed defunding this program) and Rep. Bernardy (who is the House Chair of the Higher Education Finance and Policy Committee) preserve our bill.

Today at 3pm Central Time, there will be another meeting of the Higher Education Finance and Policy Committee, where they will be discussing our bill

Please call both Gov Walz and Rep Bernardy right now, ahead of this meeting asking them to preserve our bill. 

Tell Governor Walz and Rep. Bernardy that the bill should remain within the Office of Higher Education (OHE) - not Health and Human Services (HHS) - for the following reasons:

  • putting the bill in HHS would risk it being overwhelmed by the needs of care delivery, inequity and many of the vast needs in this body
  • putting it in HHS would subject potential changes to the successful Higher ED Advisory Council including the Community Members
  • Why move it from OHE when it is working so well - a government program that is working exactly as it was intended!? Kind of a unicorn!
  • OHE is supporting students at every level in a very targeted and effective way: undergrad, medical students, PhD candidates, post Docs, residents....VERY Mission centric

Want to get motivated or hear more specifics about the impact this bill has had? Then watch testimony from last week where U2FP and several other SCI advocates, including Rob Wudlick from GUSU and Jake Anderson from JandyStrong talked about the importance and impact of the program.

Please call now. Let’s keep up the momentum and preserve this crucial funding for our community!

Join us!