TwinWest supports legislation that will create an improved business climate for our members, our region, and the entire state of Minnesota. Each year, the TwinWest Government Affairs Committee develops policies to drive the Chamber’s efforts during the legislative session. These policies are published in our annual Business Agenda, available online and in print. The Business Agenda is intended to give business leaders a tool to better understand our positions and to get involved in bringing our message to the Capitol.
2013 TwinWest Legislative Priorities
State Taxes, Spending, and Government Reform
- Spending increases should come from economic growth, not tax increases.
- Utilize current tax dollars that are already being paid more effectively and make the tough decisions to spend smarter. Discipline is critical. Government needs to reduce spending, reform taxation and tax policy in a revenue neutral manner, and restructure the approach to providing services – just as businesses have done and continue to do.
- The Governor and Legislature must address future shortfalls by reforming state and local spending systems rather than by solely increasing taxes.
- Our tax code should be streamlined to encourage economic and business expansion.
- Absent a national solution, the state should pass legislation that provides an equitable solution to the collection of sales tax between on-line sellers and Minnesota retailers known as sales tax e-fairness.
- TwinWest supports state funding to advance the Southwest Light Rail project in 2013.
- TwinWest supports the prioritization of these transportation projects: the addition of a third lane to
I-494 in Plymouth; increasing capacity on Highway 169 from I-494 to I-694; and the completion of Highway 610.
- The Twin Cities area needs a regional, multi-modal transportation system with long-range planning and sustainable funding.
- Health care reform must foster increased competition and rely on private market forces.
- TwinWest supports implementing a Minnesota-made Health Insurance Exchange structured around market-based, consumer-driven principles reflecting both the quality of care and price.
- The health care system should reward value, not volume.
- Consumers should have more information, responsibility, and choice.
E-12 and Lifelong Learning
- Systems, standards, and test results need to reflect the demands of a global economy.
- The state should tie teacher effectiveness to pay based on performance.
- The K-12 funding formula should be simplified with added accountability to the system.
- Minnesota must support its future workforce by investing in early childhood education.
Local and Regional Government
- City and county taxes should be based on the need for services and real growth.
- TwinWest supports the reinstatement of the sales tax exemption for local units of government.
- Historic spending is not a valid basis for local government aid. Only basic services should be considered for state equalization funding.
- TwinWest supports an effective Metropolitan Council that ensures the highest level of accountability is best represented to business interests, taxpayers, and local units of government within the metropolitan region.
- Conservation programs should be evaluated by comparing the cost to businesses to real conservation results.
- Further development of renewable energy options in Minnesota should be created through incentives, not mandates.
- All types of generation, including hydroelectric and nuclear, should be considered for additional generating capacity.
Minnesota Chamber Federation
TwinWest supports the statewide policy priorities established by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce through its Minnesota Chamber Federation program in these areas:
- Budget reform
- Environmental permitting
- Health care
- Tax reform