ACTION ALERT – LGA needs you! Contact legislators and Governor today

It’s crunch time! With only one week left in the legislative session, Governor Walz and legislative leaders are in the thick of negotiations to determine the next two-year state budget and find common ground on other critical issues. Among the many issues still in limbo is the CGMC’s top priority: a $30.5 million increase in Local Government Aid (LGA).

The House and Governor both included the $30.5 million boost in their budget proposals, but there is no LGA increase in the Senate’s plan. To see how your city would fare under the House and Senate plans, click here.

With the clock winding down, it is more important than ever that city leaders speak up about the importance of LGA and the need for an increase this year.

Take action now!

Contact Governor Walz, House Speaker Melissa Hortman, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and your legislators TODAY and urge them to agree to a $30.5 million LGA increase this session.

Tell them that:

  • You and your community are counting on the Senate, House and Governor to work together to pass a $30.5 million LGA increase this session to finally restore the program to its 2002 level.
  • Any meaningful tax bill must include an increase in LGA—the most effective tool the state has for building strong communities in Greater Minnesota.
  • Tell your story of the impact LGA has on your community! Share examples of how your city uses its LGA and how your city might utilize an increase.

Contact info

Questions?

If you have any questions about LGA or the legislative session, please contact Bradley Peterson at bmpeterson@flaherty-hood.com or 651-259-1911.

CGMC members lobby at the Capitol, enjoy ice cream with legislators

Thank you to all of the CGMC members who joined us Wednesday for our “final push” lobby day and ice cream social. Legislators can be especially busy and elusive this time of year, but our members did a great job of maximizing their time with them and advocating for top CGMC priorities including Local Government Aid, child care, water infrastructure and other bonding priorities, and transportation needs. This CGMC end-of-session priorities handout helped guide their lobbying efforts.

In the afternoon, the CGMC sponsored an ice cream social at the State Capitol — featuring ice cream from Marshall-based Schwan’s — that was well-attended by legislators and legislative staff. It was a successful event that helped bring Greater Minnesota issues to the forefront at this critical time in the legislative session.

Visit our CGMC Facebook page to see more photos from the ice cream social.

We need you! Join us for a ‘final push’ lobby day & ice cream social

With just less than three weeks left in the legislative session, it is vital that we work together to keep legislators focused on Greater Minnesota priorities such as Local Government Aid (LGA), child care, clean water infrastructure and transportation. To help advocate for these and other issues, we encourage all Greater Minnesota city leaders to join us for an End-of-Session Lobby Day & Ice Cream Social on Wednesday, May 8. 

The event is FREE to attend, but please RSVP by sending an email to Meghan at RSVP@flaherty-hood.com (include your name, city and position/title).

We hope to get as many city officials to attend as possible! Share this Lobby Day Flyer and encourage other city officials and staff to join us.

Parking Info – Attendees may park for free in the lot located at 525 Park Street in St. Paul, just a block from the Capitol. However, a parking permit is required. Please print this parking permit in color, write in the event date (May 8) and place it on your dashboard.

If you have any questions, please contact Julie Liew at jlliew@flaherty-hood.com.

Promote your business or organization at the CGMC Summer Conference!

Promote your business or organization by being an exhibitor at the CGMC Summer Conference!The CGMC is an advocacy organization representing 97 cities outside the metro area. Our upcoming annual summer conference will be held July 24-26 at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minn. More than 100 mayors, city council members, administrators and other community leaders are expected to attend.

Exhibitors will have ample opportunity to interact with attendees so that they can learn about the services or products you provide. Here are some details about what exhibitors can expect from this event:

  • Set exhibiting hours from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 25.
  • The conference agenda includes designated time allotted for attendees to meet with exhibitors.
  • The dedicated exhibitor space next to the presentation rooms will offer ample space for displays and conversations with conference attendees.
  • Exhibitors will also have the opportunity to socialize with city officials during meals and special events, including the keynote lunch, afternoon cocktail reception and Legislative Awards Dinner that evening.

More details are available on this Exhibitor Information & Registration Form. Exhibitors are encouraged to register early as space is limited.

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

ACTION ALERT – Tell the Senate that Greater Minnesota needs an LGA increase!

The Senate tax bill, which was released Tuesday, contains NO increase in Local Government Aid (LGA). In contrast, the House tax bill and Governor Walz’s budget proposal both contain a $30.5 million increase, the same amount that the CGMC is seeking. This is the CGMC’s No. 1 priority for this legislative session.

With less than a month until the session adjourns, there is still time for the Senate to change course and support an LGA increase — but we need your help!

Contact your senator and Senate leaders TODAY and let them know that it is critical that they pass a $30.5 million increase in Local Government Aid this session!

Take action now!

Contact Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, Senate Tax Chair Roger Chamberlain and your senator by no later than Monday, April 29 and urge them to pass a $30.5 million increase in LGA this session.  

Tell them that:

  • The current Senate tax bill is unacceptable.
  • Any meaningful tax bill must include an increase in LGA—the most effective tool the state has for building strong communities in Greater Minnesota.
  • You and your community are counting on the Senate, House and Governor to work together to pass a $30.5 million LGA increase this session to finally restore the program to its 2002 level.
  • Tell your story of the impact LGA has on your community! Share examples of how your city uses its LGA and how your city might utilize an increase.

Contact info

  • Contact Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka using this email form or at 651-296-4875.
  • Contact Senate Tax Chair Roger Chamberlain using this email form or at 651-296-1253.
  • Find your senator’s contact information by visiting Who Represents Me?

If you have any questions about LGA or the legislative session, please contact Bradley Peterson at bmpeterson@flaherty-hood.com or 651-259-1911.

 

CGMC President: Senate tax bill fails Greater Minnesota cities

For Immediate Release
Contact: Julie Liew, jlliew@flaherty-hood.com
PDF version

Below is a statement from CGMC President and Bemidji City Council Member Ron Johnson on the Senate tax bill, which fails to include any additional funding for Local Government Aid (LGA):

“A $30.5 million increase in Local Government Aid is our organization’s highest priority, yet the Senate fails to add even one cent more to help our communities keep up with rising costs. Without an LGA increase, cities will fall further behind and continue to struggle to provide essential services that our residents and businesses rely on. The Senate position will undoubtedly lead to property tax increases and potential cuts to vital city services.

“The positive side is that there is still time for the Senate to reverse course. We are grateful that the Minnesota House and Gov. Walz have both been steadfast in their support for a $30.5 million LGA increase this session. We are counting on them to continue to advocate for the needs of Greater Minnesota communities as negotiations heat up in the coming weeks.”

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Sign up today for CGMC’s Labor & Employee Relations Seminars!

Registration is now open for the CGMC’s 2019 Labor & Employee Relations Seminars! Please mark your calendar for the below date and location that works for you:

  • Thursday, June 6 in Brainerd
  • Thursday, June 13 in New Ulm

Please register today as space is limited!  You can register at greatermncities.org/2019seminar. More information about the seminars, including times and locations, can be found here.

 The seminars are focused on practical and legal solutions for providing services and managing employees in local government. They will provide relevant and timely advice on the following topics (and more!):

  • Police department’s unique organizational & personnel issues
  • Employee background checks
  • Drug and alcohol issues with employees
  • Administering family and medical-related leaves
  • Updates on settlements, arbitrations and the Legislature

We hope all units of government will send representatives (e.g., managers and administrators, human resources personnel and elected officials) to this valuable program. The cost is $70 for CGMC members and $130 for non-members.

For more information, contact Meghan Plotz at (651) 259-1918 or mmplotz@flaherty-hood.com.

We hope to see you in Brainerd or New Ulm!

CGMC presses need for Governor, Legislature to work together to achieve results for Greater Minnesota

With the Legislature currently on hiatus for the Easter/Passover break, CGMC staff members hit the road this week to meet with editors and reporters in Greater Minnesota to provide an update on our legislative priorities and discuss our hopes heading into the final month of the legislative session. Stops included the newspapers in Hutchinson, Willmar, St. Cloud, Fargo/Moorhead, Fergus Falls and Alexandria. (Here’s an article about our visit to the Fergus Falls Daily Journal.)

At the meetings, we shared this mid-session progress chart, which shows where the Governor, House and Senate each stand on the CGMC’s top priorities including Local Government Aid (LGA), child care, transportation and clean water infrastructure. As this end-of-session handout indicates, we also reiterated that we are calling on the Governor and legislative leaders to work together over the next few weeks to do more than simply pass a “lights on” state budget. We emphasized that in order the 2019 legislative session to be considered a success for Greater Minnesota, the Legislature and Governor must:

  • Pass a tax bill that includes a $30.5 million increase in LGA.
  • Pass a bonding bill that includes $67 million for Public Facilities Authority clean water grant and loan programs, as well as funding for child care facilities, the BDPI program and other infrastructure investments.
  • Pass a comprehensive transportation bill that raises new revenues and provides funding for city streets and the Corridors of Commerce program.

We would like to extend a special thank-you to the local city officials who joined us for some of the media visits: Willmar City Councilor Audrey Nelsen, St. Joseph Mayor Rick Schultz, Moorhead City Manager Chris Volkers and Alexandria City Administrator Marty Schultz.

Help us make a final push for LGA and other Greater Minnesota priorities!

Although this year’s legislative session is five months long, it’s no secret that the final two weeks of session are especially critical. This is when negotiations really heat up and final decisions are made. As we countdown to the Legislature’s May 20 deadline, it is vital that that you continue to speak up about important CGMC issues such as Local Government Aid, wastewater infrastructure, child care and transportation. To help keep legislators’ attention focused on our top priorities, we invite all Greater Minnesota city leaders to join us for an End-of-Session Lobby Day & Ice Cream Social on Wednesday, May 8. 

The tentative schedule for the day is as follows:

  • 10:30 a.m. – Legislative update and messaging (Room 500 North in the State Office Building, located across the street from the State Capitol)
  • Lunch on your own
  • Afternoon – Meetings with legislators (attendees should make appointments with their own legislators; we may also ask some attendees to participate in additional meetings with key legislators)
  • 2-3 p.m. – Ice cream social with legislators and legislative staff (L’etoile du Nord Vault Room in the Basement of the State Capitol)

Lobby Day is FREE to attend, but we ask that you register by sending an email to Meghan at RSVP@flaherty-hood.com (please include your name, city and position/title).

We hope to get as many city officials to attend as possible! Please share this Lobby Day Flyer and encourage other city officials and staff to join us.

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

House committee backs LGA increase

The House Property and Local Tax Division Report — in effect the division’s omnibus bill — was released Wednesday. The $146.5 million package includes the CGMC’s request for a $30.5 million increase in Local Government Aid (LGA) which would restore the program to its 2002 funding level.

Other notable items in the division’s report include a $30.5 million increase to County Program Aid, expansion of the Homestead Credit Refund and Renter’s Property Tax Refund programs, an extension of aid to cities for contributions to the Public Employee Retirement System and $1 million for cities with border city enterprise zones.

On Friday, nonpartisan staff will lead a walk-through of the bill and division members will hear testimony from the public. Members of the division will have an opportunity to offer amendments to the proposal on Monday. A final report adopted by the division will be sent to the House Taxes Committee for possible inclusion in its omnibus tax bill.

Relevant links: