Going into the 2021 Legislative Session

Going into the 2021 legislative session, it is my goal to

ensure that the voices of our area businesses are heard, and

their needs are addressed. The most important item of focus

for me is ensuring that economic recovery and re-opening

our economy are paramount. Additionally, it is imperative

that the State of Minnesota conform to Federal PPP tax rules

to ensure that our struggling businesses are not heavily

taxed on aid that they so desperately needed.


While I have worked together with state legislators as well as

our members of congress to address some concerns facing

our businesses, I have also been grateful for the Minnesota

Chamber of Commerce Federation. As a Federation partner,

our voice is amplified, and our needs are heard in a grander

way at the State Capitol. There are 37 Chambers in the state

that make up the Federation and below are the priorities

that are being addressed this legislative session.


I am always ready to fight on your behalf. If you have needs

or concerns that are not addressed in our session priorities,

please do not hesitate to reach out and let me know. I look

forward to working for you.


MINNESOTA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

2021 LEGISLATIVE SESSION PRIORITIES – MINNESOTA’S ECONOMIC RECOVERY IS IMPERATIVE


Local chambers represent economic vitality in their

communities. The Minnesota Chamber Federation unites

and amplifies the voice of local chambers by advocating for

policies to advance business in every corner of the state.

Federation partners represent more than 43 communities

and more than 21,000 businesses. The have worked to

promote pro-growth policies to the Legislature for more

than a decade, helping ensure that state lawmakers

understand the needs and interests of Minnesota’s diverse

and successful local business community.


Support employers and employees throughout the COVID-19 pandemic

The impact of COVID-19 on the statewide economy and

many sectors of the business community will have lasting

impact and the legislature must first “do no harm” and

instead pass measures that spur recovery and economic

growth. Businesses cannot sustain additional tax and fee

increases, mandates, regulatory burdens and other

measures that will further impede business recovery.


We support:

Tax reforms and small business grants to provide hard-hit

industries with immediate cash flow.


Enacting COVID-19 lawsuit liability protections for

businesses.


Maintaining and enhancing connectivity, i.e. broadband.

Reorienting workforce development programs based on

immediate needs in a post-COVID-19 economy.


Maximizing the ability of schools to bring students safely

back to campus for in-person, full-time instruction.


Providing one-time targeted child care funding to meet the

needs of low-income and essential workers and providers.


Maintaining Benefit Flexibility

We are committed to providing the best workplaces for

employees. As demonstrated throughout the pandemic,

Minnesota employers adhere to strict safety protocols, labor

laws and workplace standards to maintain healthy,

respectful and inclusive workplaces. We support employer

flexibility in determining workplace wage, benefit,

scheduling and staffing decisions. Employers design benefit

packages to meet their employees’ needs. Employer

protections must be recognized, addressed and

implemented if Minnesota legalizes use of recreational

marijuana.


Ensuring high-quality, affordable healthcare

Health insurance is an increasingly important benefit,

allowing employers attract and retain talent in the

marketplace and ensure their employees stay healthy and

productive at work. We oppose additional mandates and

taxes that drive up costs and instead, urge the legislature to

improve coverage options including continued stability in

the individual market through reinsurance. We oppose a

government-sponsored public option which would lead to

significant financial impacts on providers and hospitals –

especially in rural areas and underserved communities and

increase costs for those with private coverage – whether

fully-insured or self-funded – because health care providers

will be forced to shift even more costs to these Minnesotans.


Transportation Investment

Current estimates indicate that the state’s transportation

revenues will decline by roughly $400 million in the current

biennium due to the reduction in travel and economic

activity associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. We

recognize that funding solutions to the near-term revenue

shortfall will be difficult during a time of General Fund

budget deficits, economic turbulence, and pandemic,

however we must maintain, and if possible increase general

fund revenues dedicated to transportation. Other funding

options include increased fees for electric vehicles,

increased tab fees (through a depreciation schedule

adjustment) and achieving more investment through

greater efficiencies.


Energy and the environment

Environmental sustainability and economic

competitiveness, if done right, are not mutually exclusive.

We support achieving Minnesota businesses’ sustainability

goals while keeping Minnesota energy rates competitive.

We must continue needed progress on permitting

effciencies and streamlining.