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    Voting – the first step to advancing our 2019 legislative agenda
    By Doug Loon
    Minnesotans’ opportunity to shape the 2019 political landscape begins in earnest with the primary election Aug. 14. It’s critical that we elect those individuals who understand what it takes to grow Minnesota businesses and the overall economy, and will advance those public policies at the Capitol. The general election follows Nov. 6.
    The Minnesota Chamber and our local chamber partners are here to help educate you on where the candidates stand on advancing our legislative priorities. Two valuable resources are our 2018 Voting Record and our candidate endorsements made by Minnesota Chamber Leadership Fund PAC.
    Each scored vote in the Voting Record represents an issue integral to strengthening Minnesota’s position in the global economy. The votes reflect the priorities of our 2,300 members of all sizes and types across the state, and have a daily impact on business operations. The priorities are identified through an exhaustive grassroots process with our local chamber of commerce partners.
    The report is an important way to communicate how legislators voted on priority concerns. It shows our progress on issues and highlights legislators who support making Minnesota a better place for employers and employees to stay, grow and succeed here.
    The Voting Record shows that our message to strengthen the business climate resonated with a majority of legislators. That’s good news. However, many key measures were vetoed by Governor Dayton, leaving unfinished business for next year.
    Please take time to review the report, and then connect with your legislators. Thank those who voted in favor of your priorities. For those who did not, begin a conversation about how their decisions impact the ability to own and operate a business here. Help them understand why – had they voted with the business community – our state would be stronger for the benefit of all Minnesotans.
    The Voting Record examines how incumbents align with our priorities. The Leadership Fund PAC endorsements offer insight into where all of the candidates – incumbents and challengers alike – stand on business priorities. The PAC Board uses specific criteria to determine its endorsements including candidate interviews, candidate questionnaires, leadership on key business issues and voting records.
    Once armed with the information, the next step is to go to the polls. It’s important to make your voice heard as Minnesota elects legislators, several congressional and statewide officers, and the first new governor in nearly a decade. Wondering how you can get involved? First, vote in the primary election on Aug. 14. If you can’t make it to your polling place on that day, vote early by mail or in person. For more information about this year’s elections, visit the Secretary of State’s website.
    Our elected officials play a critical role in affecting the ability of employers to stay and grow jobs in Minnesota. Supporting candidates who will pass pro-growth policies will help all of us succeed and prosper well into the future.
    Doug Loon is president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce – www.mnchamber.com.

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