Statewide policy tour results 2014

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Business leaders across the state weighed in on their priority concerns during our Statewide Policy Tour. Their message was clear: Recent changes in legislation make it harder to be successful in Minnesota. They continue to face recurring problems in such areas as workforce, permitting, health care and labor.

Text of Statewide policy tour results 2014


2. Thank you 2014 StatewidePolicy Tour sponsor! 3. HOSTED BY CHAMBER MEMBERS16 LOCATIONS:Albert LeaAlexandriaArden HillsBrainerdBurnsvilleDuluthFridleyGrand RapidsMankatoMinnetonkaRochesterSaint CloudThief River FallsWillmarWinonaWorthington 4. Alakef Coffee RoastersDuluth 2014CulliganWater ConditioningMinnetonka 195913 FACILITY TOURS 5. TODAYS AGENDA2013-2104 Biennium Results for your businessNew issues? Continue current priorities? Taxes, Minimum Wage, Workforce, Energy,Transportation, Environment, Health CareWhat can you do? 6. 2013-2014 BienniumA quick legislative recap 7. 2013/2014 SESSION: Tax and Spending ResultsTotal Spending and Tax Growth11.7%9.4%2014-153.5%GDPTaxIncrease/GrowthSpendingIncrease/Growth0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 12% 14% 8. 2014 SESSION: Labor IssuesMinnesota Minimum Wage 8/1/2014 8/1/2015 8/1/2016Large Employers $8.00 $9.00 $9.50Small Employers $6.50 $7.25 $7.75Youth Wage $6.50 $7.25 $7.75Training Wage $6.50 $7.25 $7.75J nonimmigrant visa $7.25 $7.50 $7.75Indexed in 2018 9. 2014 SESSION: Labor IssuesNew Employer Mandates:Womens Economic Security Act (WESA) Pregnancy Accommodations Pregnancy and Parenting Leave Wage Disclosure Protections Nursing Mothers Protections Familial Status New Protected Class Sick Leave Benefits and Care of Relatives 10. The positives:2014 SESSION: Positives Repeal of B2B taxes and gift tax Estate tax threshold raised Transportation debate framed 5% efficiency for MnDOT in 2015 11. The positives:2014 SESSION: Positives Colleges, universities can advertise earlycollege options to high schoolers Defeated paid sick leave mandate andcaregiver status Expedited environmental permitting Defeated new chemical regulations 12. 2014 Statewide Policy TourWHAT WE HEARD: Recent changes make it harder to be asuccessful business in Minnesota. Elections matter. Longstanding problems persist:permitting, workforce, healthcare,labor. Keep pushing reform and accountability! 13. What We Heard: TAXES Taxes are burdensome and complex. The competitiveness of our economic climateis declining. In many communities, individuals orbusinesses consider leaving Minnesota. 14. What We Heard: TAXESWhat should we work on?: Pass-through exemption for business income Estate tax federal conformity Fourth tier income tax lower or eliminate Tax reform and government accountability Capital equipment sales tax exemption on 15. What We Heard: LABOR Minimum wage increase is a big challenge. Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits too generous. Workers compensation benefits are high, may get higher dueto minimum wage increase.To dos: Eliminate indexing on minimum wage Reform prevailing wage, workers comp, and UI. 16. What We Heard: EDUCATION / WORKFORCEWidespread concern about the workforce: not every kid needs a 4-yeardegree High-paying technical jobs, butno qualified applicants We needed solutions yesterday-or5 years ago Retirements loom largeDigi-Key CorporationThief River Falls 1989 17. What We Heard: EDUCATION / WORKFORCE Higher education is too expensive. Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) informationincrease is a good change. Skepticism that U of M, MnSCU will respond in a timely way.To dos: Keep pushing workforce alignment and careercounseling. Restore the grad test and teacher basic skills test. 18. What We Heard: PERMITTING Permitting timelines are too long. Lack of certainty on time and cost. Concern that water will be more regulated and feesincreased.To dos: Monitor DNR decisions on water regulation. Keep pushing on permitting times andagency processes. 19. What We Heard: TRANSPORTATION Understand more investment in highways, roads andbridges is necessary Little stomach for a world class funding package. Transit is important; but doesnt help to move goods.BNSF Railway CompanyFridley 1969 20. What We Heard: TRANSPORTATIONTo dos: Keep pushing agencies to be efficient Think outside the box gas tax is a short-termsolution. Continue conversations with members; educate onfunding sources, role of counties vs state. 21. What We Heard: HEALTHCARE MnSURE / Affordable Care Act create uncertainty in cost andtimelines - confusing and expensive. Rates released November 15th = little time to plan. More employers give $$ for employees to purchase their ownhealth care.To dos: Focus on transparency, quality,accountability, and affordability. 22. What We Heard: ENERGY / ENVIRONMENT Concern about electric rates, biodiesel, and new carbon rules.Where is our energy going to come from?To dos: Cost based rates Monitor Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)carbon legislation. MN should get credit forbeing an early adopter. 23. What We Heard: OTHERTo Summarize: Recent changes make it harder to besuccessful in Minnesota. Elections matter. Longstanding problems persist:workforce, permitting, healthcare, labor. Keep pushing reform and accountability! 24. Thank you 2014 StatewidePolicy Tour sponsor!