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Legislative Update: March 4, 2019

Posted By Administration, Monday, March 4, 2019

Economic Development Day at the Capitol

EDAM, along with partner organizations MAPCED, SBDC, Minnesota Brownfields, and Metro Cities organized and participated in Economic Development Day at the Capitol on Tuesday, February 26th. The event drew participants from around the state to get involved in the legislative process and advocate for the importance of local tools to address economic development and community revitalization with our elected officials.

Participants spent the morning listening to and asking questions of key legislators responsible for the economic development budget at the Capitol. Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove spoke to the group about his Agency’s mission, his budget priorities, and some of the challenges of transitioning from private industry to state government. Deputy Commissioner Kevin McKinnon then stood for questions and explained some of the challenges in seeking increased funding with split legislative control of the House and Senate.

Senator Paul Anderson (R – Plymouth) talked about the importance of reinstating the Angel Investment Tax Credit program, a priority shared in Governor Walz’s budget. He talked about the success of the program in the past and highlighted the importance of getting funding back into the budget in 2019.

Senator Eric Pratt (R – Prior Lake), chair of the Senate Jobs and Economic Development Growth Finance and Policy Committee, discussed budget priorities for the Senate Republican Caucus and how DEED funding bills will be treated in his committee. Senator Pratt thanked participants for their willingness to raise the profile of the DEED programs and to advocate for these important tools.

Senator Jeremy Miller (R – Winona), President of the Senate, talked about how priorities are established for the budget and what that means for the economic development funding requests this Session. He discussed how the priority typically placed on education and health care funding leaves less state dollars to be invested in other priority areas, such as economic development and housing. Senator Miller, who served as the Chair of the Senate Jobs and Economic Development Growth Finance and Policy Committee for the past two years, was named EDAM’s 2019 Elected Public Official of the Year and accepted his award during his appearance.

Representative Tim Mahoney (DFL – St. Paul), Chair of the House Jobs and Economic Development Finance Division, talked about the challenges of assembling a budget with divided government and shed light into how his committee will interact with Representative Gene Pelowski’s Greater Minnesota Jobs and Economic Development Finance Division. Chair Mahoney also discussed some potential issues he sees with the Angel Investment Tax Credit, specifically the limited geographical distribution of beneficiaries to the program.

At the conclusion of our morning program, participants attended individual meetings with their lawmakers to further advocate for economic development general and DEED program funding specifically.

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