Though the legislative session is still more than three months away (it starts March 8, 2016), it’s not too soon to start advocating for the important issues that we hope will be addressed this session. Once the December budget forecast comes out the Governor and legislators will start making plans, which means the best time for you to impact what happens during the session is before the session even starts.

With an LGA increase among the unfinished items from last year, the CGMC is urging the Legislature to get serious about getting the program back to the 2002 funding level and to stop efforts to undermine the program by arbitrarily cutting aid for Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth. Make sure your voice is heard on LGA and the CGMC’s other priority issues by doing the following:

Pass a resolution. Show your city’s support by passing a resolution in favor of restored LGA funding. Use this sample resolution as a guide. Please include examples of how LGA is important to your city. Upon passage of the resolution, send it to your local House and Senate members, House Tax Committee Chair Rep. Greg Davids, Senate Tax Committee Chair Sen. Rod Skoe, House Speaker Kurt Daudt, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk and Governor Mark Dayton. Also, please forward a copy to CGMC lobbyist Bradley Peterson at bmpeterson@flaherty-hood.com so that we can build a packet of all the LGA resolutions passed by our cities.

Write a letter to the editor. Letters to the editor can be a powerful advocacy tool. Legislators read their hometown papers and will take note if there is a letter outlining the importance of LGA. Over the next couple of weeks CGMC staff will be preparing some sample letters that members can adjust to make their own. Stay tuned!

Meet with your legislators. Before session is a great time to meet with your legislators in a more informal setting and when they have more time (as opposed to their packed schedules during session). Please meet with your legislators and urge them to support LGA and other CGMC priorities. Be sure to deliver these key messages on local aid.

In addition to LGA, be sure to share these other CGMC priorities with your legislators. Please be in touch with the staff person listed if you have any questions or if an issue is particularly important to your city and you want to help!

For more information about action you should take between now and the start of the legislative session, check out this “To-Do List for Greater Minnesota Leaders.”