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.
2014 TwinWest Legislative Priorities
State Taxes, Spending, and Government Reform
- Repeal the business to business sales taxes enacted in the 2013 legislative session; these include the warehouse tax, telecommunications equipment tax and equipment repair sales tax
- Utilize the Governor’s “Unsession” to reduce redundancy and increase efficiency in government programs, commissions and boards.
- Spending increases should come from economic growth, not tax increases.
- TwinWest supports bonding to advance the construction of the Southwest Light Rail project in 2014.
- TwinWest supports the prioritization of these transportation projects: the addition of a permanent third lane to I-494 in Plymouth; increasing capacity on Highway 169 from I-494 to I-694; and the completion of Highway 610.
- MN DOT will create a better transportation system from increasing efficiencies and creating benchmarks that ensure tax dollars are spent as effectively as possible.
Local and Regional Government
- City and county taxes should be based on the need for services and real growth.
- TwinWest supports the use of object based coding for all local governments. This accounting method increases transparency and creates greater understanding for taxpayers.
- TwinWest supports continuous improvement of the MN Sure system to ensure that it supports the goals of quality health care, affordability and consumer choice.
- Improvements and efficiencies should drive down the cost of running the exchange and support the goals of affordability and access without unduly burdening businesses either financially or administratively.
E-12 and Lifelong Learning
- Systems, standards, and test results need to reflect the demands of a global economy.
- Focus should be placed on strengthening experiential learning and expanding college and prep programs for students.
- A focused and concerted effort should be made to ensure that every student has an effective teacher and that progress is being made on closing the achievement gap and increasing graduation rates.
- Post-secondary courses should be better aligned with industry needs.
- TwinWest supports a minimum wage that conforms to the federal minimum wage ($7.25)
- Training Wage and Tiered Wage (Tip Credit) Allowances.
- TwinWest opposes automatic increases or escalators to the rate.
- TwinWest supports a comprehensive federal immigration solution that provides consistency and predictability for employers, addresses current and future needs for both high skilled and lower skilled workers and a workable, reliable national employee verification system.
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