Greater Mankato Growth Blog

GMG Q2 Report

GMG_TM_4C_300dpiOur entire team at Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. works each day to bring value to our members and drive increased vitality to the Greater Mankato region. To ensure that we’re effectively updating our partners and the community on our work, we revamped our annual report. Instead of a once-a-year 40+ page document, we’ve transitioned to a quarterly report in a new, condensed infographic layout. This has allowed us to streamline and considerably reduce staff time as well as printing costs all while making the content easier to digest, more immediate, and more impactful. I invite you to take a look at our Quarter 2 report.

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SBDC Holding Minnesota Wage Theft Law Seminar

wage theft.jpgIn May 2019, the Legislature passed a new Minnesota Wage Theft Law to create additional protections for workers and add criminal penalties for employers. Wage theft occurs when an employer avoids paying or fails to pay wages earned by its employees. GMG published a blog highlighting these new requirements here.

For additional information, you can also attend an overview presentation on Minnesota’s new Wage Theft Law hosted by The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) on October 16. More details on this event are below. Read More

New Overtime Regulations Announced

DOL SealThe following is a guest blog courtesy of Blethen|Berens.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced a final rule making more American workers eligible for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The current salary thresholds were set in 2004. Previously, in 2016, the DOL announced a final rule, significantly increasing the overtime thresholds for the “white collar” exemptions, which was to be effective December 1 of that year. This proposed change was halted by the Courts before it took effect. Then, after a change in White House administration, in July, 2017, the Department of Labor abandoned the proposed final rule from 2016 and started over with a new process of reviewing and proposing changes to the overtime rules. The resulting final rule, which will go into effect on January 1, 2020, provides an increased threshold salary for the white collar exemptions, but the increase is much lower than the previously proposed rule from 2016. Read More

GMG Q1 Report

GMG_TM_4C_300dpiOur entire team at Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. works each day to bring value to our members and drive increased vitality to the Greater Mankato region. To ensure that we’re effectively updating our partners and the community on our work, we recently revamped our annual report. Instead of a once-a-year 40+ page document, we’ve transitioned to a quarterly report in a new, condensed infographic layout. This has allowed us to streamline and considerably reduce staff time as well as printing costs all while making the content easier to digest, more immediate, and more impactful. I invite you to take a look at our Quarter 1 report.

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Minnesota’s New Wage Theft Regulations and Employer Requirements: Real World Planning for Compliance

FromTheDomeThe following guest blog post is courtesy of Abdo, Eick and Meyers Workforce Solutions.

In case you missed it, on May 30, 2019, Minnesota passed the Jobs and Economic Development Omnibus Bill. Along with many other budget and legislative items, that bill included several new regulations imposing new responsibilities and recordkeeping requirements for Minnesota employers effective July 1, 2019.

These regulations, referred to as “Wage Theft” rules, are intended to ensure that all employees are provided with transparent access to important employment and payroll information and was passed in response to the large volume of wage theft complaints submitted to the Minnesota Department of Labor (DOL) each year.

CHANGES & NEW REQUIREMENTS SUMMARY

While it’s easy to get behind the overall intent and goals of the new Wage Theft regulations, employers need to understand how these requirements will affect the timing and documentation related to many of their most common HR and payroll processes. Here, we will review several key processes impacted by the new regulations: the employee written notice, commissions payment timing, payroll and earnings statement information, and employee handbook policies and recordkeeping requirements. Read More

Grassroots Support Needed to Fund Highway 14

Hwy 14The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) announced this week that it is applying for a $25 million grant from the federal government’s BUILD Grant Program to help fund Highway 14 expansion from Nicollet to New Ulm. MnDOT has committed to fund the difference between the $25 million grant and the full cost of the project if Highway 14 is selected for this federal grant.

We need your help! Public support is an important aspect of the federal BUILD grant program. MnDOT has asked Highway 14 supporters to submit as many letters of support for the project as possible.

Act Now!
Submit a letter of support for Highway 14 under these guidelines:  

Format: Here is a letter of support template.  Letters must be addressed to the US Secretary of Transportation, Elaine L. Chao.

Submission: Email your letter to Doris Degenstein, MnDOT District 7 at doris.degenstein@state.mn.us, or submit by mail at the following address:

MnDOT District 7
Attn: Doris Degenstein
2151 Bassett Drive
Mankato, MN 56001

Deadline: Letters must be submitted to MnDOT by Monday, July 8, 2019.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Patrick Baker (pbaker@greatermankato.com) with any questions.

2019 Legislative Session – What Happened (And What Didn’t)?

FromTheDomeThe 91st legislative session kicked off on January 8, 2019 after a November election that saw Mankato native Tim Walz elected governor, the House flip to DFL control, and Republicans maintaining control of the Senate through the one open seat up for a special election. This made Minnesota the only state in the union with divided party control of its legislature.

The administration and legislature discovered in February that they would be working with a $1 billion budget surplus, which was slightly less than projected in the November forecast. Both Democrats and Republicans announced their session priorities early, and it was apparent compromises would have to be made. While it took a special session to finalize the budget, Governor Walz and the legislature reached agreement on a $48.3 billion biennial General Fund budget. This represents a 6% increase in state spending. The bipartisan budget agreement reached by the Governor and legislative leaders spends roughly $48.3 billion, a 6.2% increase over the previous biennium. About half this increase goes to E-12 education.

Here’s a quick rundown of what happened — and what didn’t — on key issues for employers and the Greater Mankato area. Greater Mankato Growth was actively engaged on all of these issues and more on behalf of our members. Read More

Legislative Session Recap Breakfast

2018_Forum SeriesJoin Greater Mankato Growth and your fellow colleagues for our June Public Affairs Forum breakfast as we recap the 2019 legislative session.

Wednesday, June 12
7:30 – 9:00 am
South Central College, Heritage Hall

Register here Read More

Department of Labor Proposes New Overtime Rule

DOL SealThe Department of Labor announced on Thursday a proposed rule that would make 1.1 million American workers newly eligible to receive overtime pay beginning in 2020. The following guest blog courtesy of Blethen | Berens provides a helpful overview of this proposal and how it will impact businesses.

Should you wish to discuss this issue further, please be sure to contact one of our fantastic member businesses in law or accounting with employment expertise. Read More

House Transportation Committee to Hold Hearing in Mankato

minnesota_state_capitol_3-300x225The Minnesota House Transportation Finance and Policy Committee will hold a field hearing in Mankato this coming Friday, March 8. The Committee will hear testimony on HF 538 – a bill that would provide funding to complete the expansion of Highway 14 to four lanes between Nicollet and New Ulm. This a great opportunity for residents and businesses of Southern Minnesota to make their voice heard. Below are additional details on the hearing and how to sign up to testify. Read More

Workplace Mandate Bills Under Consideration at Legislature

FromTheDomeThe Minnesota Legislature is considering a series of bills that would mandate that employers provide certain benefits to their employees. These proposals include state-mandated paid time off policies, paid family and medical leave, minimum wage, and predictive scheduling. The Legislature will begin hearings on these bills this week. Businesses are encouraged to weigh in with our legislators with their thoughts on these issues. Additional details on the proposals under consideration and how to contact your legislators follows. Read More

What Minnesota Can Learn From Germany on Energy Policy

2018_Forum SeriesRSVP now for a free luncheon forum with experts and elected officials as we discuss What Minnesota Can Learn From Germany on Energy Policy.

Friday, December 14
11:30 am – 1:00 pm
South Central College
Heritage Hall Read More