This year the Minnesota Legislature passed and Governor Walz signed into law a significant rewrite of Minnesota’s tax code to bring the state into conformity with the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. This new law will have significant impacts on both individuals and businesses going forward for the 2019 tax filing season, as well as retroactively as the law may require amendments to 2018 tax returns. To ensure that our members have all the information they need on what this new law will mean for them, Greater Mankato Growth is partnering with Abdo, Eick & Meyers; CliftonLarsonAllen; and Eide Bailly to host a free forum on Minnesota Tax Reform on December 10. Our panel of tax experts will review the federal and new state tax laws and how it will impact businesses as well as discuss what you need to know about retroactive tax filings for 2018. You can register and get more information here: https://gmg.greatermankato.com/events/Minnesota-Tax-Reform-What-You-Need-to-Know-1117/details
The discussion around marijuana legalization in Minnesota is picking up at the Legislature. In fact, the Legislature has launched a ‘“Be Heard on Cannabis’ Community Conversation” tour that will be coming to Saint Peter the evening of November 20. It will be critical that the voice of employers is heard in this process – particularly around the sort of workplace regulations that would be necessary to include in any legalization scenario to ensure safe and productive workplaces. I’d invite you to participate in this forum to lend your thoughts and expertise to this process. Full event details are below. Read More
Our 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.
In 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
The 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
Our 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.
Minnesota’s New Wage Theft Regulations and Employer Requirements: Real World Planning for Compliance
The 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
The 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.
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 email@example.com, 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
The 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
The 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.
The 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