Legislative Session to Begin

Eden Prairie Chamber President, Pat MulQueeny

The Eden Prairie Chamber’s Board of Directors recently reviewed and voted its support for the Chamber Federation Priorities.  The Chamber Federation is made up of 40 or so local Chambers throughout the state and the policies this year include:

  • FULL DEDICATION OF TRANSPORTATION RELATED REVENUE: The 2017 legislature passed the largest transportation funding bill in nearly a decade. Nearly $2 billion of transportation related sales taxes will be captured and directed to the state’s transportation system over the next 10 years.  This includes 100% of the revenues generated from the sales tax on rental cars and approximately 60% of revenues generated from the sales tax on auto parts. The Minnesota Chamber has been a strong advocate for the investment of these transportation related General Fund resources in transportation infrastructure and services. We support full dedication of the auto parts sales tax to transportation.
  • STRENGTHEN MINNESOTA’S MEDICAL PROCEDURE PRICE TRANSPARENCY LAWS: Ever increasing health care costs have pushed health insurance products toward higher out of pocket costs for policyholders. As a result, more and more Minnesotans are shouldering a much larger share of their health care costs themselves, often spending thousands of dollars in deductibles before coverage kicks in. This has forced individuals to be better consumers of health care, though often with incomplete information about cost. Minnesota has laws on the books that require health care providers to disclose the cost of medical procedures at the request of a patient or prospective patient, but these laws must be strengthened to ensure they are followed and this vital information is provided to consumers in a timely manner.
  • ENHANCE MINNESOTA’S TAX COMPETITIVENESS: Tax reform will be difficult to achieve in 2018 due to the wide tax policy differences between Governor Dayton and the Republican legislative majorities.  In addition, 2018 is a non-budget year, short session, and an election year.  Federal tax reform may provide an opportunity for state tax reforms as federal reforms may result in additional state revenues.   President Trump and the Republican Congressional leadership have made federal tax reform a top priority with the goals of lowering tax rates and broadening the tax base.  The last time major federal reform occurred was in 1986 and Minnesota followed suit in 1987 with major tax reform including tax rate reductions.  If federal reform occurs any state revenues realized should be used to pay for state tax reform including reductions in the corporate and individual income tax rates; relief for pass-through companies; federal estate tax conformity; protection of the research and development tax credit and further business property tax relief.
  • ENSURE CONSISTENT STATEWIDE LAWS: A troubling trend is for cities to enact their own workplace mandates, creating a patchwork of city-by-city ordinances that presents an even greater administrative burden for employers. Local governments are right to control certain activities within their own borders, but enacting employee wage and benefit mandates on private employers is outside city authority and conflicts with state law. Local units of government should not be able to enact their own local minimum wage ordinances or benefit mandates since doing so will disrupt the state employment market and impede hiring and job growth. Accordingly, we support explicit statewide preemption of local government labor mandates.

 

You will be seeing more in regards to these priorities and how our membership can be involved.

 

Additional Public Policy items –

Mark your calendars for these upcoming events – special thank you to Boulay PLLP for sponsoring and hosting:

  • Friday, March 2nd, 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. – Legislative Update – hear from our state elected officials on the status of bills, issues important to business and how the Minnesota Legislature is progressing on our priorities.
  • Thursday, May 24th, 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. – Now that the Legislative session is completed, hear from our elected officials on what bills were passed and the impact they will have for businesses.

These two programs will be hosted at Boulay PLLP is located at 7500 Flying Cloud Drive.  Directions will be provided closer to these programs.

 

Session Priorities Dinner

Join us for the Minnesota Chamber’s Session Priorities Dinner on Tuesday, February 20th starting at 5:00 p.m. at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  This event brings together the leadership of the Minnesota House and Senate, the Governor and our state elected officials to discuss the upcoming session.  The Eden Prairie Chamber has a table reserved and limited spots available.  If you are interested in joining us, tickets are $150 and to register please e-mail pat.mulqueeny@epchamber.org.  Very limited seats and this event always sells out!