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News & Press: MPMA News

MPMA Focuses on Workforce Development in 2020 Legislative Session

Friday, February 14, 2020  
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Tuesday (February 11) marked the first day of Minnesota’s 2020 legislative session. While this week got off to a slow start, with only a few committee meetings on the calendar, things will pick up next week. With quick bill deadlines, committees will need to ramp up swiftly and we expect this session to move at a very brisk pace.
 
MPMA's Focus 
 
MPMA has brought on a new government affairs team for 2020 -  Cook Girard Associates (CGA). CGA will serve as the association’s contract lobbyists, meaning they are MPMA’s eyes and ears at the state Capitol. They will work directly with MPMA’s Government Relations committee to further our public policy goals. 

Sarah Strong-Belisle and Joe Sellwood of CGA have been able to visit some member facilities during their first month and are getting to know more about our industry through direct contact with the membership. We expect their outreach to continue after the session concludes.
 
Because it is not a budget session, there will not likely be quite as much activity on some of MPMA’s workforce development priorities this year, but CGA is working to identify potential opportunities in areas like career and technical education, youth training program safety, and Section 179 expensing. Stay tuned for updates.
 
This is a great time to consider joining MPMA’s Government Relations committee. Committee members set MPMA’s public policy agenda, meet with legislators, and represent the association in public hearings. 

  • MPMA leadership and our partners at CGA need the expertise of our manufacturer members to help determine the impact of policies and programs on the industry.
  • Serving on the committee is a great way to learn more about how laws and policies impact manufacturing and ensure your voice is heard. For more information please contact Steve Kalina at steve@mpma.com or 952-564-3041.

 

2020 Legislative Session
 
At the top of the agenda in 2020 is a capital investment bill; the second year of every biennium is typically focused on bonding and this year is no different. There are some policy issues leftover from last session, both large and small, that will see renewed activity this year and we should be prepared for a vigorous debate over how to spend the budget surplus. 

  • The House DFL majority has identified early education as an area they’d like to spend some of that surplus, while the Senate Republican majority would like to see increased transportation investments and make some tax changes. But most of the activity over the next month will be around policy, with budget discussions heating up after the February budget forecast is released at the end of the month. 
  • Legislators will have just one month until the first bill deadline – March 13 – when bills have to be moved out of all policy committees in at least one body to remain alive; and then an additional week until the second deadline – March 20 – when the other body must act on those bills.
  • Priorities for the session will really come into focus after March 20 as the field of bills still available for passage is greatly narrowed. The final bill deadline for finance bills, is April 3, which is also the last working day before the legislature’s Spring Break begins on April 4. Legislators will return to Saint Paul on April 14, giving them about five weeks to finish their work before the constitutionally required adjournment date of May 18.