Break Time Is a Great Time to Advocate

Use the upcoming legislative break to talk, email, or meet with your legislators on important city issues.
(Published Apr 8, 2019)

Legislators will be home for Easter/Passover break from April 13 to April 23. This is a great opportunity to speak with them about issues that are important to cities.

Various bills are moving through the legislative process that the League is asking cities to contact their representatives and senators about.

—Find your legislators

Thank legislators for:

  • Committing to funding the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant program. Encourage them to fund the program at the recommended level of $70 million over the next biennium.
  • The robust discussion on how to address the affordable housing crisis in Minnesota. Ask legislators to commit to providing funding and additional tools to help cities address locally identified affordable and workforce housing needs.

Ask legislators for improvement on the following League priorities:

  • Transportation funding. The League supports comprehensive funding that includes new revenue sources for municipal state aid (MSA) and non-MSA city streets. City officials are urged to contact legislators to express support for a robust transportation funding bill.
  • Increased local government aid (LGA) funding. Bills in both the House and Senate would provide a $30 million increase in LGA, which would restore funding to the 2002 level of $586.8 million.
  • Substantial investment in the statewide broadband grant program. Urge members of the Senate to commit to fully funding the program at the $70 million level over the next biennium, rather than a one-time appropriation of $30 million. (Read more about this topic.)
  • Presidential primary changes. Currently, state statute requires that party declaration for those who choose to participate in the presidential nomination primary be included in the public information list, which can be accessed by any registered voter in Minnesota. The League supports legislation that would remove this requirement from law. Currently, the House omnibus elections bill would change this so that voters’ party choice is only available to the major political parties. The Senate has yet to hear this legislation. City officials should encourage legislators to accept this proposed change to ensure the privacy and participation of Minnesotans in the presidential primary.

Remind legislators that LMC has concerns with:

  • Retainage bill (HF 878, Rep. Tim Mahoney, DFL-St. Paul; SF 947, Sen. Jason Rarick, R-Brook Park). Retainage is a common construction-industry tool used in the public and private sector alike to ensure construction projects are completed and contract obligations are met. The language would greatly diminish any financial leverage a city would have to ensure public construction projects are completed in the manner agreed upon when first entering into a construction contract, and result in needing to use more taxpayer money to address the problem created by this bill. (Read more about this topic.)
  • Elections security funding (Help America Vote Act, or HAVA). While the House has passed a bill to allow the Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State to access $6.6 million in federal funding known as HAVA funding, the Senate has passed a bill that would only allocate $1.5 million of the available funding. The League support full funding and encourages officials to express that to their legislators.
  • Preemption of labor standards (SF 2611, Sen. Eric Pratt, R- Prior Lake). The proposed language, included in the Senate omnibus jobs bill, preempts local government authority to adopt an ordinance, resolution, or local policy to set minimum wage, paid leave, and work schedule standards. This conflicts with the League’s long held core value that locally elected officials are best suited to determine health, safety, and welfare regulations to serve their constituents in an open and transparent process. Additionally, the retroactive effective date proposed with this language would affect ordinances that are currently in place.

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