Engaged in Legislative Activities
The MPMA's Government Relations Committee is responsible for:
- Monitoring legislative activities that impact members.
- Notifying members through legislative updates in the e-newsletter and via email.
Members of this committee are involved with the Manufacturing Coalition, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, the National Tooling and Machining Association/Precision Metalforming Association (NTMA/PMA) “One Voice” initiative, and other grassroots lobbying opportunities.
MPMA members are encouraged to get involved in issue that are important to their businesses and the manufacturing industry as a whole. Please contact MPMA President/CEO Steve Kalina for more information.
2020 Legislative Priorities
2020 is the second year of the biennium, so Minnesota’s Legislative session gets off to a bit of a later start this year. The 2020 session is set to begin on February 11, and run through May 18.
Most of this year’s agenda consists of unfinished policy work from the 2019 session, along with passage of a capital investment (bonding) bill. Also, the state’s projected $1.3 billion budget surplus will be in play and it is expected that there will be plenty of debate around spending over the next few months. In addition, 2020 is an election year – with all 201 legislative seats on the ballot.
MPMA's 2020 Legislative priorities are:
Strengthen Minnesota’s Skilled Workforce
- Attracting and developing skilled talent are key strategies for growing manufacturing in Minnesota and are the top concerns of precision manufacturers.
- The workforce shortage is limiting our capacity to keep up with production demand and impeding our ability to take advantage of new opportunities.
- Manufacturers want to partner and grow support for proven ways to strengthen Minnesota's skilled workforce and to develop and invest in new tools to help train the next generation of skilled manufacturing workers
To that end, MPMA supports:
- Increasing the career technical education levy.
- Providing resources for manufacturers to launch new apprenticeship and on-the-job training programs.
- Allowing high schools to have the flexibility to build manufacturing training programs.
- Incenting teachers to earn technical education and work-based learning licenses.
Strengthen Minnesota’s Manufacturing Economy
MPMA members also support policies that promote a healthy tax and regulatory climate for manufacturers.
- For example, conforming Minnesota’s Section 179 expensing law to the federal law will create greater opportunities for Minnesota manufacturers to invest in better equipment, allowing them to become more productive.
- Ensure any new recreational drug laws provide sufficient protections for employers to our production employees are operating safely on the job.
Representing Our Members at the State Capitol
Cook Girard Associates (CGA) is representing the MPMA at the state Capitol during the Legislative session.
The firm is recognized as one of the premier lobbying firms in Minnesota because of their history of government affairs services to trade associations, Fortune 500 companies, and Minnesota businesses.
MPMA's primary point of contact will be Sarah Strong-Belisle, who joined Cook Girard Associates in 2001. She has a natural talent for effective legislative advocacy and has worked her way up the government affairs ladder to her current position. Strong-Belisle has significant experience crafting legislative strategies and legislation, especially in the areas of commerce and workforce development. Over the last decade she has gained a working knowledge on a variety of business and governmental issues, frequently leading ad hoc coalitions on complex issues.
Cook Girard will be keeping MPMA members updated about the association's legislative activities. Watch for emails and other information as it becomes available.
How to Reach Your Elected State Representatives
- Find out who represents you and/or your company. Type your home or business address here. Visit your representatives’ web page to view their phone and email address to contact them directly and sign up for their email updates.
- Ask your legislator when he or she plans to hold a Town Hall meeting near you. Plan to attend to meet him or her in person.
- Reach out to your legislators directly by phone or email to inform them how a certain piece of legislation would help or hurt your business.
- Write a letter to the editor supporting or opposing a particular issue and share it with your legislators.
- Offer to host one or more of your legislators on a tour of your shop.
> Click here for a copy of MPMA's legislative priorities to use if you are contacting your legislators.