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Legislative Action Day

CGMC Legislative Action Day was a huge success!

More than 120 city officials and business leaders from nearly 50 cities attended the CGMC’s annual lobbying event on Wednesday. There was also great attendance from legislators at the reception and dinner that capped off the day at Mancini’s — a bipartisan mix of more than 65 legislators representing both rural and urban districts came to the event.

Legislative Action Day began with a membership meeting in which attendees were apprised of the CGMC’s top legislative priorities and given tips on how to lobby at the Capitol. The meeting was followed by lunch and a panel discussion featuring Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook), Sen. Jeremy Miller (R-Winona) and Rep. Dean Urdahl (R-Grove City). Attendees then spent the afternoon meeting with legislators at the Capitol and urging them to support CGMC proposals on LGA, workforce housing, bonding and other issues. A copy of the lobbying materials that were given to legislators can be found here.

A big thank you to all who participated in this year’s event!

More than 100 CGMC members are registered to attend our Legislative Action Day this Wednesday, Feb. 1! We are excited to have such a large turnout and look forward to seeing many of you there. Here are few notes about the day for those planning to attend:

Location – Best Western Capitol Ridge
For those who have attended Legislative Action Day before, please note that we will be at a new location this year – the Best Western Capitol Ridge, located at 161 St Anthony Ave. in St Paul. This is within short walking distance of the Capitol complex.

Parking
The Best Western Capitol Ridge has a parking lot that will be free for CGMC members to use. However, the hotel has informed us that due to another event being held there the same day, there is a possibility that their lot could fill up. If that happens, you are welcome to park in the lot at the League of Minnesota Cities (145 University Ave. W) or at our office at 525 Park St., both of which are within walking distance of both the Best Western and the Capitol complex.

Schedule
The day will begin at 10:30 a.m. with a program featuring a legislative update, overview of the CGMC’s top issues and some lobbying tips. Lunch will be served at approximately noon, during which we will hear from a legislative panel featuring Sen. Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook), Sen. Jeremy Miller (R-Winona) and Rep. Dean Urdahl (R-Grove City). After lunch, members will head to the Capitol complex for meetings with legislators. Remember – attendees are responsible for scheduling their own appointments with legislators. Here is the full agenda for the day.

Legislative Reception & Dinner
The legislative reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Mancini’s Char House & Lounge, located at 531 7th St W. in St. Paul. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. Mancini’s has a large parking lot, so there will be ample free parking available. If you are staying at the Best Western or the Holiday Inn, you may want to inquire at the front desk about the availability of shuttle service to and from the restaurant if you would prefer not to drive.

DowntimeIf you are looking for somewhere to hang out between meetings, you are welcome to come back to the conference room at the Best Western (the room will be available until 5 p.m.) or you can go to the Flaherty & Hood Office, located at 525 Park St., Suite 470. We also encourage you to take a tour of the newly remodeled Capitol building!

Cancellations
If you signed up for Legislative Action Day but can no longer attend, please let me know ASAP. We had to start a waiting list due to the high number of attendees this year, so if you can’t make it there may be someone else who is interested in taking your place.

Spending the night in St. Paul
There might still be hotel rooms available for those who want to spend the night in St. Paul. A block of rooms is reserved for the CGMC for the nights of Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at both the Best Western Plus Capitol Ridge ($139+tax, call 651-227-8711 to book) and the Holiday Inn St. Paul Downtown ($140+tax, call 651-225-1515 to book).

If you have any additional questions about Legislative Action Day, please contact Julie Liew at jlliew@flaherty-hood.com.

Registration is now open for the CGMC’s Legislative Action Day 2017! It will be held Wednesday, Feb. 1 at the newly renovated conference space at the Best Western Plus Capitol Ridge (formerly the Kelly Inn) in St. Paul, located one block from the State Office Building. (For those who have attended Legislative Action Day before, please note that this year’s event is being held at a new location).

The day will kick off with a brief legislative update in the morning followed by lunch featuring a yet-to-be-determined speaker or speakers. Members will then spend the afternoon meeting with their legislators at the House and Senate offices (members should make their own appointments for meetings with legislators between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. that day). The daylong event concludes with a legislative reception and dinner at Mancini’s Char House & Lounge that evening.

Legislative Action Day is always a great opportunity to build connections between local officials and legislators and advocate for the priorities of Greater Minnesota cities. To attend, please fill out this registration form and email, fax or mail it to the listed contact information. Please RSVP by Jan. 18.

For those who want to spend the night in St. Paul, a block of rooms is reserved for the CGMC for the nights of Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at both the Best Western Plus Capitol Ridge ($139+tax, call 651-227-8711 to book) and the Holiday Inn St. Paul Downtown ($140+tax, call 651-225-1515 to book). Members are encouraged to book their rooms early as the blocks close one month before the event.

If you have any questions about Legislative Action Day, please contact Julie Liew at jlliew@flaherty-hood.com or 651-259-1917.

This year’s CGMC Legislative Action Day was a huge success! More than 120 city officials and business leaders from 51 cities attended the CGMC’s annual lobbying event on Wednesday. We also had great attendance from legislators at the legislative reception and dinner that capped off the day, with a bipartisan mix of legislators representing both rural and urban districts.

The day began with a membership meeting in which attendees were apprised of the CGMC’s top legislative priorities and given tips on how to lobby at the Capitol. The meeting was followed by a lunch with Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook) as our guest speaker. Attendees then spent the afternoon meeting with legislators at the Capitol and urging them to support CGMC proposals on LGA, workforce housing, bonding and other issues. A copy of the lobbying materials that were given to legislators can be found here.

A big thank you to all who participated in this year’s event!

For Immediate Release: March 16, 2016
Contact: Julie Liew, jlliew@flaherty-hood.com

A PDF version of this press release is available here.

ST. PAUL—Momentum for an increase to the Local Government Aid (LGA) program continues to build at the Legislature. Yesterday, Gov. Dayton included a $21.5 million one-time increase in LGA funding as part of his supplemental budget. Then today, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, confirmed to city leaders that the Senate is standing by its plan to increase ongoing funding for the program.

“The Senate tax bill puts LGA back at 2002 levels. We feel really strongly about that,” Sen. Bakk said, referring to the $45.5 million in additional LGA funding that the Senate included in its version of the tax bill. He added that it is “unlikely” that a tax bill could pass out of conference committee without that LGA provision in it.

Sen. Bakk discussed LGA and other top Greater Minnesota priorities while addressing 120 city administrators and elected officials from across the state who convened in St. Paul for the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) annual Legislative Action Day. House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, had also been expected to speak at the event, but he had to cancel his appearance because the House was in session.

An LGA increase is the top legislative priority for the CGMC this session. More than 75 cities have adopted a resolution in support of the $45.5 million increase and 17 newspapers have written editorials expressing similar support. Clearly, it was a top focus for the city officials taking part in the Legislative Action Day lobbying activities.

“LGA is absolutely vital to Greater Minnesota communities,” said Robert Broeder, mayor of Le Sueur and president of the CGMC. “Our costs continue to rise, yet LGA funding has not even kept up with inflation. We are asking our legislators to support a modest increase to the program so that our cities can continue to provide key services to our residents and businesses while restraining property taxes.”

In contrast to the Senate’s plan to increase LGA, the Republican-led House is pursuing a tax bill that would cut the LGA program by $84 million by targeting the cities of Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth. While addressing the CGMC crowd, Sen. Bakk urged them not to “take the bait” on the House proposal. He indicated that although it might sound like the House plan would benefit Greater Minnesota cities, in reality it would put the entire LGA program in jeopardy.

“I’ve been around here long enough to know that if LGA is going to become just a rural program, we’ll never hold it,” Sen. Bakk said. “There needs to be a formula where everybody can fairly participate in it. If you start taking large groups of legislators out of it, it’s just not going to be workable going forward.”

Sen. Bakk noted that the conference committee will begin reconciling the differences between the House and Senate versions of the tax bill “in earnest” soon, but he gave no indication that the two bodies are any closer to reaching an agreement today than they were at the end of session last May.

However, Sen. Bakk reiterated that if a tax bill makes it out of the conference committee, it will be a “sensible bill that is going to have LGA in it.”

The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization representing 88 cities outside of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The Coalition educates legislators about issues important to Greater Minnesota. Visit the CGMC online at greatermncities.org.

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We’re excited to have a record number of city officials registered to join us for Legislative Action Day on Wednesday, March 16! With so many Greater Minnesota community leaders convening on the Capitol in one day, it’s bound to make an impact on our legislators.

The event officially begins at 10:30 a.m., but attendees are able to begin checking in at the Flaherty & Hood Office as early as 9:30 a.m. Many of you have also inquired about the parking situation. As parking around the Capitol can be difficult — especially during this busy short session — we have several parking options available:

  • Flaherty & Hood Office (525 Park Street, St. Paul. Our office is located in Suite 470, on the 4th floor) – Our building is allowing our guests to park in the surface parking lot adjacent to the building. Both regular spots and “visitor’s” spots are available for you to use. Parking is free and no permit is needed.
  • League of Minnesota Cities building (145 University Ave W, St. Paul) – The League is graciously allowing CGMC members to park in their lot, which is located one block west of the Flaherty & Hood office. Parking is free and no permit is needed.
  • Bethesda Hospital Parking Ramp (530 Park St.) – Located across the street from the Flaherty & Hood office, visitors are able to park here on a first-come, first-served basis at a cost ranging from $4 (for up to 2 hours of parking) to $15 (for 7 or more hours).  A credit card is required.
  • Street parking – There is limited parking on the streets surrounding the Flaherty & Hood office and the Capitol. Some of the spots are metered, while others are free. However, these spots tend to fill up quickly.
  • Best Western Capitol Ridge (161 St Anthony Ave, St Paul) – There is free parking available for guests who are staying at the Best Western Capitol Ridge, which is located about 0.6 miles from the Flaherty & Hood office. The hotel has a free shuttle bus available to transport its guests, but it is only available on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact the hotel directly at (651) 227-8711 for more information on their parking and shuttle bus options.

The CGMC has received confirmation that House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook) have both accepted our invitation to be the lunchtime speakers for CGMC’s Legislative Action Day on Wednesday, March 16. We are excited to hear from the leaders of both bodies of the legislature. It should be a good opportunity to learn more about the House and Senate’s differing plans on issues such as LGA, transportation, workforce housing and bonding. We anticipate that attendees will have a chance to ask questions of both Sen. Bakk and Speaker Daudt during the event.

If you have not already done so, we encourage you and other officials from your city to register for Legislative Action Day. The annual lobbying event is a great chance to build connections between local officials and legislators and advocate for the priorities of Greater Minnesota cities. To RSVP, fill out this registration form and email it to RSVP@flaherty-hood.com or mail it to the listed address. Please RSVP by March 2.

If you have any questions about Legislative Action Day, please contact Julie Liew at jlliew@flaherty-hood.com or 651-259-1917.

Register today for the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities’ Legislative Action Day 2016! This year’s event will be held Wednesday, March 16. It will kick off with a brief legislative update in the morning, followed by lunch featuring speaker Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk (House Speaker Kurt Daudt has also been been invited) at the Flaherty & Hood office in St. Paul. Members will then spend the afternoon meeting with their legislators at the House and Senate offices (members should make their own appointments for meetings with legislators between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. that day). The daylong event concludes with a legislative reception and dinner at Mancini’s Char House & Lounge that evening.

Legislative Action Day is always a great opportunity to build connections between local officials and legislators and advocate for the priorities of Greater Minnesota cities. To RSVP, please fill out this registration form and email it to RSVP@flaherty-hood.com or mail it to the listed address. Please RSVP by March 2.

Registration is now open for the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities’ Legislative Action Day! This year’s event will be held Wednesday, March 16. It will kick off with a brief legislative update in the morning, followed by lunch with a speaker (both Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk and House Speaker Kurt Daudt have been invited) at the Flaherty & Hood office in St. Paul. Members will then spend the afternoon meeting with their legislators at the House and Senate offices (members should make their own appointments for meetings with legislators between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. that day). The daylong event concludes with a legislative reception and dinner at Mancini’s Char House & Lounge that evening.

Legislative Action Day is always a great opportunity to build connections between local officials and legislators and advocate for the priorities of Greater Minnesota cities. To RSVP, please fill out this registration form and email it to RSVP@flaherty-hood.com or mail it to the listed address. Please RSVP by March 2.

For those who want to spend the night in St. Paul, a limited number of rooms have been reserved for the CGMC at the Best Western Plus Capitol Ridge (formerly the Kelly Inn) for the nights of March 15 and March 16 at a cost of $139 (plus tax) per night. The block is reserved for the CGMC until Feb. 15. Members are encouraged to book their rooms early, as other events in St. Paul that week may make it difficult to find a hotel room on short notice. Call the hotel at 651-227-8711 to make a reservation.

If you have any questions about Legislative Action Day, please contact Julie Liew at jlliew@flaherty-hood.com or 651-259-1917.

We hope to see you there!

This year’s CGMC Legislative Action Day was a huge success, with nearly 100 city officials attending from 40 cities. We also had a record number of legislators attend the legislative reception and dinner that capped off the day, with a bipartisan mix of more than 50 legislators representing both rural and urban districts.

The day began with a membership meeting in which attendees were apprised of the CGMC’s top legislative priorities and given tips on how to lobby at the Capitol. The meeting was followed by a lunch with speakers Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook) and House Tax Committee Chair Rep. Greg Davids (R-Preston), who shared their insights into the legislative session and fielded questions from the crowd.

Attendees then spent the afternoon meeting with legislators at the Capitol and urging them to support CGMC proposals on Local Government Aid, broadband, workforce housing, transportation, environmental regulations, job training and the Business Development Public Infrastructure grant program. A copy of the lobbying materials that were given to the legislators can be found here.

A big thank you to all the member cities and legislators who attended this year’s event!