December 24, 2018
Retail At The Capitol Legislative Update Calls Start January 7
The Minnesota legislative session kicks off on January 8 with big changes in the House such as 39 new members and DFL control. For MnRA members seeking an inside look at the legislative week, MnRA hosts a weekly 10:00 a.m. Monday conference call.
 
This members-only activity takes place each week of legislative session through its conclusion and includes opportunities for retailers to get involved in the policy making process.
 
There is no cost for these calls; simply dial in for the calls that interest you and work with your schedule. Calls last approximately 30 minutes.
 
To obtain dial-in information for these calls, register now or contact MnRA at savannah@mnretail.org or call us at (651) 227-6631. Following registration we'll send you a calendar invite with dial-in information.
Dayton Says Proudest Accomplishments Came Late In Career
From the Star Tribune, Steve Karnowski, December 17, 2018

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton says his proudest accomplishments in his 40 years of politics came late in his career: restoring state government to financial health and funding all-day kindergarten.

"Being governor is where I've have accomplished the greatest good for Minnesota," Dayton said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Now getting ready to "sashay into the sunset," Dayton said his two terms as governor contrasted with his frustrating single term in the U.S. Senate from 2001 to 2007.

As an anti-war activist at Yale University, Dayton earned a spot on President Richard Nixon's "enemies list." He took a more establishment turn later in the 1970s, when he worked as an aide to then-Sen. Walter Mondale and served as the state's economic development commissioner under Gov. Rudy Perpich. He made an unsuccessful first run for the Senate in 1982, self-financing it with nearly $7 million of his personal wealth as a member of the family that launched Dayton's department stores and Target discount stores. After one term as state auditor and an unsuccessful run for governor in 1998, he ousted GOP Sen. Rod Grams in 2000.

Now 71, Dayton is not sure what he'll do next. His health problems been aggravated by lung damage that was a complication of his recent back surgery. He fainted during his 2017 State of the State speech and underwent surgery last year for prostate cancer.

When Dayton became governor in 2011, the state was facing a $6.2 billion budget deficit with hardly any money in the bank. As he prepares to leave office Jan. 7, the state is projected to have a $1.5 billion surplus for the next two-year budget period, with a $2 billion reserve fund to cushion against future downturns.
The Top 25 Accomplishments Reported By The Dayton Administration
From the Governor Mark Dayton's Office, December, 2018

When Governor Mark Dayton took office in January 2011, he promised to build a Better Minnesota. That is exactly what he has delivered. Back then, our economy was in crisis and our budget was a mess. Minnesota faced a $6.2 billion budget deficit, over $1.8 billion had been borrowed from our schools, and there was almost nothing left in the State Budget Reserve account. Minnesota’s schools were under-funded, 204,000 people were out of work, and taxes unfairly favored the wealthy.

Eight years later, Minnesota is doing better – MUCH better than it was before. In Governor Dayton’s words: “The credit for our strong and sustained economic recovery belongs to the people of Minnesota. In 2010, I said my goal was 'A Better Minnesota.' Thanks to the people of Minnesota, we have achieved it.”

Since 2011, Minnesota employers have added 318,400 new jobs, unemployment is at a 19-year low, and our schools have seen $2 billion in new investments. Governor Dayton gave 2.3 million Minnesota families tax cuts and raised income taxes on only the richest 2 percent to pay for needed investments in a Better Minnesota. A growing economy and prudent fiscal management stabilized our state’s budget with ten forecasted surpluses over the last eight years. Minnesota now has a $1.5 billion budget surplus and a record $2.5 billion in cash and reserves to protect our state from future economic downturns.

The following documents provide additional detail about the work that Governor Dayton, his Administration, and the people of Minnesota have done to make our state better these last eight years.

Get a quick picture of some of the Dayton Administration’s biggest accomplishments since 2011. This document provides a high-level overview of some prominent achievements of the last eight years.

Get a more detailed look at many of the Dayton Administration’s achievements in eight different categories, including: fiscal responsibility; jobs and economic growth; education; health and human services; reform; diversity and inclusion; quality of life; and environment and natural resources. This 441-page document provides significant detail and context on the policies and progress we have made since January 2011. To search the document, simply click “Ctrl+F” on your computer keyboard and type in your desired search term.

This 313-page document provides a detailed inventory of every major announcement and action from the Office of Governor Mark Dayton dating back to the first staff and Cabinet appointments, and throughout his two terms as Governor. It includes links to statements, fact sheets, letters, and more.
Counterfeits: The Nightmare Before Christmas
From the Retail Dive, Karrin Vembar, December 14, 2018

"Most people don't realize that when they buy counterfeits they are supporting organized crime, and in some cases seasoned criminals' second careers.

"We know that counterfeiting has become a very attractive retirement program for drug dealers," said Ann Harkins, CEO of National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), at a recent Congressional briefing about anti-counterfeiting efforts. "Why? It's cleaner. It's safer. They are not as likely to get caught. If they get caught they are not as likely to do as much time."

The proliferation of fake goods has surged, leaving manufacturers scrambling to keep them out of their supply chains. A test conducted earlier this year by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that 20 out of 47 products sold by third-party sellers online were revealed to be counterfeits, leaving both the government and corporations to chase after fraudulent sellers. In 2017 the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seized a record number of shipments of illegal goods, with a combined $1.2 billion price tag had the goods been genuine.

The holiday season only increases the likelihood consumers will encounter counterfeit goods, including decorative lights, small electronics, sneakers and toys. This year retailers have offered fantastic discounts on products, and shoppers have rewarded them by spending over $6 billion online on Black Friday and $7.9 billion on Cyber Monday, according to Adobe Analytics. But, the hunt for the best sale can lead consumers to counterfeit items — often unwittingly. "Throughout the year, and especially during the holiday and Christmas seasons, consumers need to be aware that counterfeit products are being sold online," said Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Vishal Amin.

Authentication of products by retailers is one means to combat the issue. For consumers, it's a service that can help sort out legitimate companies from nefarious ones."
Meet Savannah Sepic, MnRA's New Government Relations Manager
The Minnesota Retailers Association is excited to welcome our new government relations manager, Savannah Sepic.

Savannah was born in Rochester, Minnesota but has spent much of her life in Madison, Wisconsin. This past May, Savannah graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a double major in political science and advertising.

Savannah recently moved to St. Paul and is already enjoying exploring Minnesota and all it has to offer, including our vibrant retail community.

Savannah served as a legislative intern at the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce where she organized Chippewa Valley Rally, a grassroots member activity similar to MnRA's annual Retail Day at the Capitol. In addition, Savannah researched chamber policies and helped members engage with elected officials.

Following graduation and through the 2018 election, Savannah ran a field office for a political party in Hudson, Wisconsin.

Politics and membership organizations are second nature to Savannah as she grew up accompanying her father--a veteran of the chamber of commerce and association industry--to board meetings.

"I am excited to learn the ins and outs of the association, along with diving into the issues important to our members," said Savannah. "I look forward to meeting everyone and the start of the 2019 legislative session."
Watch The Minnesota's Retail Champions Video: 10 Award Winner
The Minnesota Retailers Association (MnRA) was pleased to be recognize ten organizations leading the way in attracting consumers with the announcement of the 2018 Minnesota’s Retail Champions at Retail Rally October 9.

Watch the awards video now!