The 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”→
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. Continue reading “Marijuana Legalization Forum”→
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.
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.
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. Continue reading “House Transportation Committee to Hold Hearing in Mankato”→
The 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”→
Greater Mankato Growth is your one-stop-shop for all the information you’ll need to exercise your right to vote in the 2018 election. On our Election Toolkit website, you’ll find online candidate profiles, candidate forum videos and details on how and where to vote on November 6. Our online candidate portal features information provided directly by the candidates themselves including biographical information and their response to a questionnaire. Elections are one of the most important and effective ways citizens can make their voices heard. By providing our members, as well as the broader community, access to the information presented in our Election Toolkit we hope to enable them to make informed voting decisions. Continue reading “Your Election Toolkit”→
Voters in Minnesota District 19A will be asked to select a new state representative this November 6. To help voters cast an informed ballot, Greater Mankato Growth in partnership with KTV, Mankato’s public access television station, held a forum with the candidates running for the seat: Jeff Brand (DFL) and Kim Spears (R).
This election season, Greater Mankato Growth, along with several partner organizations will host a series of candidate forums aimed at providing an opportunity for meaningful exchange between candidates and voters in areas impacting the community, business and the overall vitality of the region. Greater Mankato Growth is announcing the forums for federal and state office that our organization will host in advance of the November General Election. The public is invited to attend any and all of these free events. There is no registration needed for the candidate forums. We continue to work on arranging candidate forums for local offices and an announcement on those forums will be forthcoming.