The 2023 legislative session starts today, January 3, 2023. Greater Mankato Growth will be working vigorously to ensure the voice of our members is heard loud and clear in St. Paul. We will also keep members up to date on key issues and provide information you will need to be an advocate for your business. Be on the lookout for additional blog posts in the coming weeks and months as the session gets underway.
Greater Mankato Growth’s Board of Directors have approved a set of policy priorities. These priorities are the result of a lengthy process that included several opportunities for input: a membership survey, the Advocacy Committee, and hundreds of conversations with members. The priorities are comprised of many of the most important issues that affect our members.
Greater Mankato Growth will focus our advocacy efforts in these areas:
Elections don’t only impact capitol cities, they also impact every local board, council, and commission in our communities. This year was no different. There will be changes in leadership in a number of important local offices, including a new Mayor of North Mankato. These local leaders touch our lives every day as they manage critical infrastructure, teach our kids, and keep our communities safe.
Below is a breakdown of the results of local races.
City of North Mankato
Scott Carlson – 50.65% (3,065)
Ben Kaus – 37.21% (2,245)
Kenneth J. DeWitte – 7.87% (475)
Warren Lee Anderson – 3.83% (231)
Mayor-Elect Scott Carlson replaces Mayor Mark Dehen who has served since 2011.
The results of the election in Minnesota were not what was widely expected. The conventional wisdom suggested Republicans would have a big night. In a midterm election with a lackluster Presidential approval rating, rising inflation, and prolonged economic uncertainty, it would seem that history would once again repeat itself. That didn’t happen. Instead, Democrats (DFL) carried voters focused on issues such as reproductive rights, election integrity/democracy, and public safety, especially in and around the Twin Cities suburbs. The graphic below shows this exactly (Graphic 1).
Polls showed a very tight race for Governor and Republican candidates for other statewide offices leading slightly. In the end, Governor Walz won by more than eight points, enough to “carry” the other statewide offices to victory for a clean Democratic sweep of all constitutional offices – Governor/Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, and State Auditor.
The 2022 legislative session could be characterized in one word: disappointing. There was so much opportunity to do good work and help Minnesotans. Very little of that opportunity was seized. This may not be entirely surprising, given Minnesota is one of only two states with divided control of the legislature (Republicans have the majority in the Senate, and the Democrats have the majority in the House). But Minnesota has a tradition of compromise and it is also something that is structurally required by our state’s constitution: the state must pass a balanced budget every two years, bonding bills (borrowing money) requires a super majority of both the House and the Senate, and, of course, all legislation must be signed by the Governor. There have been hiccups along the way, but Minnesotans expect elected officials to work together and get their work done, even if a little late.
Today, Greater Mankato Growth sent a letter to Governor Tim Walz providing statistics to create awareness of talent challenges facing our region.
The Department of Employment and Economic Development has taken great strides to ensure that individuals receiving unemployment insurance are aware of the job opportunities that exist across the state.
We asked that the State implement measures to supplement the work that is being done surrounding awareness of job availability by creating enforcement measures, while offering flexibility for those still impacted by COVID-19 considerations. You can read the full letter here.
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Greater Mankato Growth has partnered with the Minnesota Ready Coalition lead by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce to call on Governor Tim Walz to provide immediate support to those businesses and their employees most impacted by the issuance ofExecutive Order 20-99. Greater Mankato Growth joined 90 partner chambers and associations across the state in sending theGovernor a letterthis weekregarding the urgency in supporting these businesses/organizations. Our organization continues to follow and educate members on proposed relief plans and take action to support local businesses through a variety of initiatives.Continue reading “Greater Mankato Growth Signs on to Minnesota Ready Coalition Letter”→
As you hopefully know, Greater Mankato Growth has worked tirelessly to identify resources, answer questions, facilitate discussions and advocate on behalf of our business community to allow all businesses to open safely. Today marks another milestone in that effort as many more businesses are allowed to open their doors. In furtherance of those efforts, Greater Mankato Growth is partnering with the Minnesota Ready coalition lead by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce to call on Governor Walz to take the final step and fully and safely reopen all businesses no later than June 19. Continue reading “Join Greater Mankato Growth in Advocacy”→
Today Greater Mankato Growth sent a letter to Governor Walz respectfully requesting that he allow all businesses the opportunity to reopen in a way that is safe, sustainable, and equitable with their peers. You can read the letter here.
Greater Mankato Growth is also looking for members to film a video testimonial to the Governor explaining how your business can open safely. Please contact Patrick Baker (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details.
Yesterday Greater Mankato Growth partnered with 75 chambers of commerce from across the state to send a letter to Governor Walz urging him to consider a more rapid and equitable approach to safely open businesses of all sizes. In addition, our community’s own Marissa Brostrom, Owner of Graif Clothing, appeared in a video of small business owner testimonials.
To follow up on the letter, this week Greater Mankato Growth leadership is personally speaking with the Governor and Commissioner Steve Grove of the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development.
Greater Mankato Growth continues to advocate strongly on behalf of our members both publicly and behind the scenes.
As you’ve likely seen, state/federal/local governments are considering a number of policy options to support businesses during these unprecedented times. Greater Mankato Growth will do all we can to keep our business community up to date on the latest developments via this blog page and our COVID-19 resources page. Check back frequently as the policy situation is rapidly evolving.
In addition, Greater Mankato Growth in partnership with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce is taking proactive measures to advocate for business support measures. This morning Greater Mankato Growth signed onto a letter with our chamber colleagues from across the state asking the state of Minnesota to do the following: Continue reading “GMG Advocacy on Business Support”→