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.
2015 TwinWest Legislative Priorities
Taxes, Spending and Government Reform
Spending increases should come from economic growth, not tax increases. All new, proposed policy should be viewed through the lens of creating the best possible, most competitive business climate. TwinWest supports all efforts to increase transparency, efficiency and better outcomes in all areas of government.
- Support efforts to reduce the tax burden on businesses that report business income on personal tax returns; this effects 92% of Minnesota businesses that are organized as pass-through entities (i.e. LLC, S-Corp, Partnerships, sole proprietors).
- Improve overall competitiveness by reducing corporate tax rates, commercial property taxes and individual income tax rates.
- TwinWest supports the use of object-based coding (or similar accounting method) for local governments that increase transparency and understanding for taxpayers on the costs, funding sources and cost-drivers of local governments.
TwinWest supports a safe and efficient multi-modal transportation system that provides for the effective movement of people and goods.
- The first 15% of any additional funding should come from efficiencies within MNDot and the Metropolitan Council.
- General fund dollars should be allocated for transportation costs and maintenance because transportation is a fundamental function of state government.
- TwinWest supports the exploration of new user fees and value capture models to help close the gap on transportation funding.
- TwinWest supports the completion of the Southwest Light Rail corridor.
- TwinWest supports capacity expansion on Highway 169 and the completion of Highway 610.
TwinWest supports a health care system that focuses on quality, affordability and consumer choice. We support continuous improvements and efficiencies that drive down the cost of operating the MNSure exchange and support goals of access and affordability without unduly burdening business either financially or administratively.
- TwinWest supports the elimination of the employer assessment for the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association.
- TwinWest supports reforms that promote transparency in the oversight of the MNSure system including the inclusion of more small business and health industry experts in governance.
- TwinWest supports a user fee model for those using MNSure rather than an all-inclusive premium tax.
- TwinWest supports expanding options so employers have more choices when providing health insurance benefits for employees.
E-12 and Lifelong Learning
A well-educated, world class workforce requires effective investment from early childhood through various forms of higher education. TwinWest supports systems, standards and measurable results that reflect the demands of a global economy and address workforce needs.
- Support opportunities for all students in all schools to earn college credit through the expansion of dual credit programs.
- Support experiential learning, apprenticeships and customized training programs that accelerate worker training, help to close the skills gap and more nimbly address immediate needs and shortages.
- Continue efforts to ensure that the most effective teachers are in the classroom and curriculum has rigor to ensure outcomes that prepare students to compete in a global economy.
A well-educated and qualified workforce helps provide competitive advantage for Minnesota businesses. TwinWest opposes labor policies that make Minnesota an uncompetitive market for either business or worker.
- TwinWest supports repealing the automatic escalator in the minimum wage rate.
- TwinWest opposes any pre-emption that allows local units of government to enact a minimum wage above the state minimum wage.
TwinWest opposes the attack on industry through the regulatory and rule-making process. We support efforts to reduce the amount of time required to obtain a permit and support the reduction in redundancy of regulatory agencies. We oppose unproven mandates that increase the cost of doing business, but provide little or no beneficial outcome.
- Encourage continued process efficiency and reduction in the amount of time required to obtain a permit in Minnesota
TwinWest supports a comprehensive federal immigration solution that provides consistency and predictability for employers; addresses current and future needs of both high skilled and lower skilled workers and a workable, reliable national employee verification system.
TwinWest advocates for the development and expansion of American energy resources to create jobs and improve the U.S. economy and provide certainty in America’s energy supply.
For more information on the TwinWest Business Agenda, contact:
Deb McMillan, Director of Government Affairs
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:
- Repeal of Business Sales Taxes
- Minimum Wage
- Streamline Environmental Permitting
- Workforce-Experiential Learning
- Transportation-Efficiancy and Accountability