Walz signs ALS research legislation

Tomassoni looks on as Walz signs bill
Sen. David Tomassoni looks on as Gov. Tim Walz signs a bill that spends $25 million on ALS research and support for caregivers on Wednesday.
Tim Pugmire | MPR News

Gov. Tim Walz signed legislation Wednesday that provides $20 million for ALS research and another $5 million for ALS caregivers.

The legislation was championed by Independent Sen. David Tomassoni of Chisholm who was diagnosed with the disease last year. Using communication technology, Tomassoni thanked the governor and others for their support of the bill. He said the bill means hope.

“This is about making the future better,” Tomassoni said. “We can all be proud of that. This is truly a good day.”

ALS is progressive disease that affects the nerve cells responsible for controlling voluntary muscle movement. People gradually lose their ability to talk, walk and breathe. There is no cure.

The research money will go to the Office of Higher Education to award competitive grants.

The legislation passed in the House by a wide margin and in the Senate with unanimous support. 

A bipartisan group of legislators attended the bill signing in the governor’s reception room at the Capitol. 

“I’m proud to join Sen. David Tomassoni, a bipartisan group of legislators and advocates who have worked tirelessly to pass this bill for Minnesotans living with ALS and their caregivers,” Walz said. “By investing in ALS research and caregiver support, we are moving together toward finding a cure for this disease and better caring for Minnesotans living with ALS and their families.”

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