2021 (Special) Legislative Session Recap

Minnesota’s 92nd legislative session ended their 2021 regular session on May 17th without a budget. The Governor and Legislative leaders instead released a budget framework with a target of $52 billion for the next biennium. Lawmakers worked for four weeks on final details largely outside of the public eye until they convened a special session on June 14th. All spending bills were passed and signed into law by June 31st.

The need for a special session was largely due to a late infusion of funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) that was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021. Roughly $8.5 billion was allocated in the bill to the State of Minnesota for various programs.

Budget

A final budget of $52 billion was signed into law on June 31, 2021. This biennial budget is an increase of approximately $1.3 billion over the previous budget – much of that one-time funding from ARPA. Included in the bill are direct tax cuts of $644 million to people who lost jobs and employers who kept people working during the pandemic.

Paycheck Protection Program

The final tax bill included full conformity to federal tax law with regards to the Paycheck Protection Program at a cost of roughly $375 million in fiscal year 2022. Businesses and organizations that received PPP loans will not be subject to either federal or state income tax on the amount of the loan received.

Continue reading “2021 (Special) Legislative Session Recap”

Legislative Session Recap Virtual Discussion

virtual event logoJoin your colleagues and our regional legislators on May 22 at 8 am as Greater Mankato Growth hosts a virtual discussion to recap the 2020 legislative session.

With COVID-19 still significantly impacting businesses, our panel of legislators will provide an update on their efforts to support our state at this time. Attendees will also have an opportunity for Q&A so you can engage directly with our legislators on the issues most important to you.

This event is free. Once registered, you will be emailed a link to access the webinar, which will also be recorded and posted on the event page when complete. Continue reading “Legislative Session Recap Virtual Discussion”

Webinar: How State and Federal Legislation Can Help Your Business

FromTheDome

Both the federal government and Minnesota Legislature have recently passed legislation that will speed critical funds to Minnesota businesses and families. With new legislation comes questions on what the changes mean for Minnesota businesses. The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce recorded a webinar to answer your questions on both the state and federal COVID-19 relief packages. Patrick Baker on the GMG team is also well-versed in these new state/federal programs and is happy to walk any business through them. You can contact him at 507-385-6657 or pbaker@greatermankato.com Continue reading “Webinar: How State and Federal Legislation Can Help Your Business”

Announcing GMG’s 2020 Policy Priorities

FromTheDomeThe Minnesota Legislature gavels into session next week Tuesday. As always, Greater Mankato Growth will keep our members up to speed on key issues and provide the information you’ll need to be an advocate for your business. Be sure to stay tuned to this blog in the coming months as we post updates on key issues businesses should keep an eye on.

GMG’s board of directors has also approved a set of policy priorities that GMG will monitor and advocate on in the coming legislative session. The policy priorities were derived from a thorough vetting process, including surveying of members, consideration and discussion by the organization’s Public Affairs Steering Committee, and ultimately, approval by the Board. These priorities represent a series of policy issues (federal, state & local) that are of interest to our members and our regional marketplace.

Key issues that GMG will advocate on this year are Highway 14 expansion and support of enhancements at Caswell Park, including a new regional field house. In addition to our own organization’s priorities, GMG partners with organizations that help magnify our voice in advocating for key priorities. GMG is an affiliate member of the following organizations. Continue reading “Announcing GMG’s 2020 Policy Priorities”

Marijuana Legalization Forum

MarijuanaLegalizationThe 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. Continue reading “Marijuana Legalization Forum”

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. Continue reading “SBDC Holding Minnesota Wage Theft Law Seminar”

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. Continue reading “2019 Legislative Session – What Happened (And What Didn’t)?”

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 Continue reading “Legislative Session Recap Breakfast”

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. Continue reading “House Transportation Committee to Hold Hearing in Mankato”

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. Continue reading “Workplace Mandate Bills Under Consideration at Legislature”