Agenda—2018 Legislative Conference for Cities

Wednesday, March 21

3:30 p.m.
Advocacy 101: How Things Get Done and Your Part in the Process
St. Croix Room, League of Minnesota Cities
LMC Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) Staff
Have you wondered how policy and budget ideas go from legislative proposal to state law? Are you stumped on how to start advocating for your city? Get your questions answered as the League’s intergovernmental relations (IGR) team takes you through the process. Start by exploring how League policies are decided each year, then discover how you can help the League’s lobbying efforts by getting involved in policy development and sharing your city’s story with legislators, state agencies, the media, and the public. You’ll leave this session equipped to be a more effective advocate for city issues throughout the process.

4:30 p.m.
State Capitol Tour
Minnesota Historical Society Information Desk, First Floor, State Capitol
Take a guided tour of the recently renovated State Capitol and get familiar with the layout of legislative offices and meeting rooms.

5:30-7:30 p.m.
Legislative Reception
Rathskeller Café, Basement, State Capitol
Mingle with legislators and network with your city colleagues and League staff at this cash bar reception on the eve of the conference.

Thursday, March 22

All morning sessions will take place at Christ on Capitol Hill Church unless otherwise noted.

8 a.m.
Registration Open

8:30 a.m.
Update on City Legislative Priorities
Start the day by learning about the League’s 2018 legislative priorities and other important issues that impact cities, and what you can expect throughout the rest of the session. You’ll get prepared to influence legislators by reviewing key messages and considering how to localize and personalize the issues by using examples from your city. Finally, discover League resources and follow-up actions you can take to support this year’s legislative priorities.

9:15 a.m.
Legislative Panel on Local Government Issues
Moderator: Kevin Frazell, Director of Member Services, League of Minnesota Cities
Panelists: Representative Tim O’Driscoll, Chair, Government Operations & Elections Policy; Representative Michael Nelson, DFL Lead, Government Operations & Elections Policy; Senator Dan Hall, Chair, Local Government; and Senator Patricia Torres Ray, Ranking Minority Member, Local Government
Hear insights from legislative leaders on issues impacting local government, including organized collection, annexation, franchise fees, water tower maintenance, data practices, pensions, and more! You’ll also hear predictions on the size and scope of the bonding bill, and find out which issues are priorities for the legislative caucuses in the 2018 legislative session.

10 a.m.

10:30 a.m.
Advocating for Local Control in an Era of Preemption
Moderator: Jay Kiedrowski, Senior Fellow, Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
Panelists: Representative Mike Freiberg, Member, Government Operations and Elections Policy; and Jo Emerson, White Bear Lake Mayor and LMC President
During the 2017 legislative session, a significant number of bills moved through the legislature that interfered with local decision-making authority. Learn why state legislatures have been more aggressively preempting local authority in recent years and the pressures that city officials face to proactively address issues at the local level. Hear from legislative leaders about several preemption bills that may advance in the 2018 session, the best ways to advocate for preserving local control, and how city and state officials can work together in the best interests of their mutual constituents.

11:15 a.m.
Understanding Minnesota’s Political Landscape
Moderator: Don Reeder, Assistant Director of Communications for Public Affairs, League of Minnesota Cities
Panelists: Brian Bakst, Political Correspondent, Minnesota Public Radio; Briana Bierschbach, Political Reporter, MinnPost; and Patrick Coolican, Politics and State Government Reporter, Star Tribune
So what do those who cover Minnesota government and politics think about the 2018 legislative session? Get an outside perspective from political reporters about which issues are getting attention at the Capitol and what bills are likely to get passed before the legislature adjourns—including those important to cities!

12 p.m.
Remarks from League Leadership and Send-Off to the State Capitol
Dave Unmacht, LMC Executive Director; and Jo Emerson, White Bear Lake Mayor and LMC President
Before you head off to the Capitol, hear from the League’s leadership about the important role you play in city advocacy and ways to carry that work forward during the legislative conference and throughout the year.

12:15 p.m.
Luncheon and Networking
Enjoy lunch and social time with your city colleagues before your afternoon legislative meetings.

1-4:30 p.m.
Meetings with Legislators and Capitol Tours
Sit down with your legislators, or find them on the floor with the help of League staff! Use the skills and information you acquired during the conference to effectively advocate for issues that are important to your city. If you didn’t get a chance on Wednesday, you can also take time to go on a free guided tour of the Capitol and get an up-close look at the completed renovations. For more on the Capitol tours, visit:

Don’t forget! Calendars fill up quickly. Get in touch with your legislators early so you can make sure you’re on their calendar for the afternoon of March 22. Not sure how to get in touch with your legislators? Visit the Minnesota Senate website and the Minnesota House of Representatives website to find their contact information.

Register now!

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