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Senate approves research dollars for NDSU, UND

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The state Senate has voted to spend up to $45 million from the earnings of the state Legacy Fund for research at NDSU and UND.

The two institutions had earlier suggested $100 million over the next two year period. But the Senate bill caps the fund at 15 percent of Legacy Fund earnings.

"This is an investment in the future of North Dakota," said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Ron Sorvaag (R-Fargo) on the Senate floor. "Energy and Ag will continue to be our big players. This is not a replacement. But this money in research can make a strong research cooridor, and makes an opportunity to come up with new ideas."

Sorvaag said there are unlimited possibilities in emerging areas and techologies.

"These are high-paying jobs," Sorvaag said. "These bring money in. It's a part of diversifying our economy."

The bill passed 43 to 4 – and will now be considered by the House.

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