Statewide Policy Tour shapes agenda heading into 2023 session
3 takeaways from the Statewide Policy Tour
The Minnesota Chamber hits the road twice each year for the Statewide Policy Tour to visit businesses and learn what policies at the Capitol impact their business. Ahead of the 2023 legislative session, the Chamber visited eight communities around the state to provide a preview of the upcoming session, and to listen to employers and employees on the issues that matter to them. The Chamber was fortunate to visit:
- Rochester - Mayo Clinic
- Faribault - Faribault Mill
- Marshall - Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce
- St. Cloud - Marco
- Virginia/Chisholm/Hibbing - Mineland Reclamation Building, Hosted by Park State Bank
- Eden Prairie - Boulay
- Lakeville - BTD Manufacturing
- Detroit Lakes - Detroit Lakes Chamber of Commerce
Some important and common issues and concerns emerged from the eight events. Below are 3 key takeaways to keep in mind this legislative session:
1. The workforce shortage is the number one issue facing businesses
No matter the region of the state or industry of the business, a common issue facing employers is the difficulty in finding workers. Employers shared the great lengths they go to attract and retain talent, but more needs to be done to meet the needs of these businesses.
The Chamber believes that near-and long-term workforce solutions are needed to help shift the current shortage from an immediate crisis to a pipeline of talent in Minnesota to fill the jobs of the future. The Legislature should evaluate workforce programs, reduce barriers for certification and licensing to fill current needs. Improving the state’s connections between students and careers as well as its career and technology-based education are also needed. Without a big boost in child care availability, workers can’t work.
2. Cost of being in business in Minnesota is a growing concern
There is a clear difference between the economic performance of high-cost, high-tax states and their more affordable counterparts. Government mandates and taxes drive up costs and make our state less competitive. Knowing this, 27 states have reformed their tax structures in the last two years – yes, in the aftermath of the pandemic pushing Minnesota to near-top rates in the nation (#1 in corporate by 2024). With an $18 billion state budget surplus, reducing costs on individuals and businesses would make our state attractive for investment and economic growth.
Statewide Policy Tour attendees are familiar with Minnesota's high tax rates, but were shocked to learn just how high these rates are compared to other states and how we are falling behind without action.
3. Regulatory reform is needed so businesses can expand and grow
Site selectors consistently identify Minnesota’s regulatory system as a barrier to growth. Finding ways to maintain environmental standards and change the process to better define steps and a timeline for completion will maintain a clean environment and a healthy business climate.
One attendee in St. Cloud explained how their ag-based business wanted to expand and grow in Minnesota, but the state's cumbersome regulatory process made it difficult to obtain permits and plan for that expansion.
What can you do?
Minnesota can be an affordable, attractive place to live, work, grow a business and raise a family. We look forward to working together with the new and returning leadership in St. Paul this year – finding common ground to make sound economic decisions and help Minnesota reach its economic potential.
As we kick off the 2023 legislative session, it's important for employers and employees to make their voices heard at the Capitol. Invite your legislators to tour your business, join one of the Chamber's policy committees and be sure to sign up for action alerts from St. Paul.
Click photos to view full size and ESC or refresh to return to page.
Statewide Policy Tour attendee testimonial
Expectations were beyond met. Lots of good information.
Interested in other Minnesota Chamber events related to policy?
Join us on March 1 at our next Women in Business event whicl will focus on the hotly-debated legislation to legalize recreational marijuana in Minnesota. Speakers will address some of the potential impacts on the workplace and what employers should know.