Work begins now on 2018 legislative agenda
By Doug Loon
The 2017 Legislature is history, and the 2018 session won’t convene until February. Contentious debates over important public policies at the Legislature are the last thing on most people’s minds as we all enjoy Minnesota summer in its full glory.
Summertime is a great opportunity to connect with your legislators and explain firsthand the impact of their votes to ensure that Minnesota is ready for the future – ready for change and ready to grow. You have their full attention and the chance to connect with them at your worksites.
Your conversations will be most effective if you are armed with ammunition. The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce 2017 Voting Record is a guide to help you evaluate your lawmakers’ leadership on our priorities at the 2017 Legislature. The votes reported reflect the priorities of our 2,300 members across the state. Each vote is on an issue that’s of daily consequence to Minnesota businesses and identified through regular discussions with members and our local chamber of commerce partners.
We have much to celebrate. The 2017 session was historic in its accomplishments and one of the most results driven in years. Many of the business community’s priority issues were acted upon and advanced, better positioning Minnesota businesses to change and grow in our global economy. For a more detailed summary of the Minnesota Chamber’s 2017 legislative achievements, click here.
Our successes notwithstanding, work remains to strengthen our business climate, especially in the area of workplace regulations. Our recently completed Statewide Policy Tour gives us a strong start on these priorities as we look ahead to next year. We’ll be back in many of your communities and connecting with our local chamber partners during our fall policy tour as we present our preliminary priorities for 2018.
Minnesota continues to rank favorably as a great place to live, work and build a business. As we celebrate our state’s assets, we also recognize that Minnesota needs to be ready for the future. We should be among the top states for economic growth rather than being identified among the top states for cost of doing business. The Minnesota Chamber produces the Minnesota Business Benchmarks report that sizes up our business and economic climate and underscores those challenges. Our next report is due in October.
Our policymakers can help to address these challenges. The summer break is a great chance to explain and show your legislators firsthand how the policies they craft have an impact on your daily business operations.
Be sure to thank those legislators who voted in favor of your priorities. For those who did not, begin a conversation about how their decisions impact your ability to own and operate a business here, and explore how we can work more effectively together to make Minnesota ready to change and grow.
Doug Loon is president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce – www.mnchamber.com.