Advocacy News | May 13, 2021
IF YOU CAN'T TEACH IT...

While the relative number has grown since my first day of work, your Chamber has a very small staff. You may not realize, but our PA team this year has been a 2.20 FTE operation. There's me, and John, and rockstar intern-turned-part-time-session-only Kaleb -- that's the team! And tomorrow, we lose Kaleb from the team, as his grad school is done, and his session-only term has come to an end.

One of the things I've appreciated about Kaleb is that he asks really good questions. He doesn't pretend to know things he doesn't. Early career, most people think that showing ignorance is to be avoided at all costs, regardless of how much you have to scramble, and how many mistakes you make. But Kaleb understands something that it usually takes people much longer to learn: admitting what you don't know actually enhances your reputation. I never have to wonder if he's faking it, and I can absolutely trust his mastery of things that he does know.

Kaleb's questions also made me better at MY job. The adage, "if you can't teach it, you might not know it well enough" was on my mind more than once, when I had to stop and really consider not just the WHAT but the WHY.

So Kaleb, on your last newsletter day, I offer a big ol' embarrassing public THANK YOU for the work you did on behalf of our members, the drafts you created of things that never got used, the humor you brought to team meetings, and all of your questions. Our team, and our Chamber, are better for having you as a part of it.

Shannon Watson
Vice President of Public Affairs
Follow me on Twitter @Shannon_SPACC
PUBLIC AFFAIRS ISSUE FORUMS
Instead of another webinar presentation to watch, our members are invited to participate in a roundtable meeting around a timely issue.

So far this year we've hosted issue forums on public safety, business recovery funding options, the future of corporate PACs, and parking minimums. Upcoming topics will include an overview of the St. Paul administrative citations proposal, and maybe a briefing on redistricting. We want to hear from members - what issues do you want to hear more about? Send your ideas to Shannon.
BILLS WE'RE WATCHING
Each week we'll highlight a few bills at the legislature that have caught our attention. Being included in this list just means we're watching them -- it does not indicate approval or opposition. ("Retweets =/= endorsement.") Language from the bill title is listed, analysis from SPAC PA staff is in brackets.

Omnibus budget bills have the starring role at the Capitol these days. Here's where some of the committee bills stand as of right now... (If this looks the same as last week, that's because none of the conference committees have passed their committee reports yet.)

Omnibus Tax - Both House and Senate have passed bills, there are differences between the current versions of the bill. Differences are being worked out by conference committee.
House conferees Marquart; Youakim; Her; Lislegard; Davids
Senate conferees Nelson; Weber; Miller; Bakk; Rest

Omnibus Higher Education Policy and Finance - Both House and Senate passed the Senate bill, differences are being worked out by conference committee.
House conferees Bernardy; Christensen; Keeler; Klevorn; O'Neill
Senate conferees Tomassoni; Rarick; Goggin; Jasinski; Clausen

Omnibus Education Finance - Both House and Senate passed the House bill, differences are being worked out by conference committee.
House conferees Davnie, Richardson, Pryor, Hassan, Kresha
Senate conferees Chamberlain; Eichorn; Duckworth: Dornink; Wiger

Omnibus Commerce Policy and Finance (including Energy) - Both House and Senate passed the Senate bill, differences are being worked out by conference committee.
House conferees Stephenson; Long; Hollins; Acomb; O'Driscoll
Senate conferees Dahms; Senjem; Utke; Mathews; Frentz

Omnibus Workforce and Business Development Finance and Policy - Both House and Senate passed the Senate bill, differences are being worked out by conference committee.
House conferees Noor; Ecklund; Olson, L.; Berg; Hamilton
Senate conferees Pratt; Rarick; Housley; Draheim; Eken

Omnibus Judiciary and Public Safety Policy and Finance - Both House and Senate passed the Senate bill, differences are being worked out by conference committee.
House conferees Mariani; Becker-Finn; Moller; Frazier; Miller
Senate conferees Limmer; Mathews; Johnson; Ingebrigtsen; Latz

Omnibus Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance - Both House and Senate passed the Senate bill, differences are being worked out by conference committee.
House conferees Hansen, R.; Wazlawik; Morrison; Fischer; Heintzeman
Senate conferees Ingebrigtsen; Ruud; Eichorn; Tomassoni; Westrom

Omnibus Transportation Finance - Both House and Senate passed the House bill, differences are being worked out by conference committee.
House conferees Hornstein, Koegel, Frederick, Elkins, Petersburg
Senate conferees Newman; Jasinski; Howe; Osmek; Bigham

Omnibus Housing Finance and Policy - Both House and Senate passed the House bill, differences are being worked out by conference committee.
House conferees Hausman, Howard, Agbaje, Reyer, Theis
Senate conferees Draheim; Duckworth; Dahms; Pratt; Dziedzic

Omnibus State Government Finance - Both House and Senate passed the House bill, differences are being worked out by conference committee.
House conferees Nelson, M.; Xiong, T.; Masin; Greenman; Nash
Senate conferees Kiffmeyer; Lang; Koran; Howe; Carlson

Omnibus Agriculture and Broadband Finance - Both House and Senate passed the Senate bill, differences are being worked out by conference committee.
House conferees Sundin; Vang; Pelowski; Lippert; Nelson, N.
Senate conferees Westrom; Dornink; Goggin; Anderson; Murphy

Omnibus Legacy Finance - Both House and Senate passed the House bill, differences are being worked out by conference committee.
House conferees Lillie; Jordan; Xiong, J.; Huot; Green
Senate conferees Ruud; Weber; Senjem; Lang; Hawj

Omnibus Health and Human Services Policy and Finance - Both House and Senate passed the House bill, differences are being worked out by conference committee.
House conferees Liebling; Schultz; Gomez; Pinto; Schomacker
Senate conferees Benson; Abeler; Utke; Koran; Hoffman
IN STATE GOVERNMENT NEWS

How fast can the Revisor's office type? Goal of ending the regular session with work done alludes the #mnleg. Again.

Are tax hikes off the table? Maybe.

While we wait for budget targets, DFL House members keep pushing on legal marijuana. Passing the House would be historic, passing the Senate would be a miracle.

The state is ALLOWED to use federal money for PPP tax conformity, but will the legislature #StandUpForMainStreet?
IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT NEWS

Dakota county is recommending a new library for South St. Paul, despite a higher than anticipated price tag.

East metro Cities and Counties are getting federal money, but there are rules on how it can be spent.

Ramsey County is seeking public comment on the Rush Line.

St. Paul city council asked the City Attorney to seek an opinion from the attorney general. She's passing on that request.

Washington and Ramsey county make plans for curbside food waste recycling.

St. Paul and NCXT are hosting a discussion on the future of restaurants. RSVP to attend.
We regularly get calls from reporters looking for businesses to comment on a wide set of issues. To make those interactions easier and quicker we keep a list of member company media contacts and areas of expertise. If your company is willing to speak to media on the record, email Shannon and she'll add you to the list.
OPPORTUNITIES TO GET INVOLVED
2021 PUBLIC AFFAIRS SPONSORS
Thank you to the following companies supporting public affairs initiatives and programming in 2021!
Want to see your logo here? It's not too late! Contact Shannon.
EAST METRO VOTER GUIDE RETURNING FOR 2021

Elections in our footprint in 2021 that will be included in the Guide are: St. Paul Mayor and White Bear Lake Mayor, and city council races in Falcon Heights, Mahtomedi, St. Anthony Village, St. Paul Park, and White Bear Lake.

If you or someone you know is a candidate and would like to be included in the guide, contact John for a questionnaire.
Supporting our members' own advocacy at the Capitol and in City Halls across the East Metro. If you have an issue you’re working on and would like support from the Chamber, contact Shannon to discuss the options. From committee testimony, to letters of support, to meetings with elected officials, we're here to support you and champion an economically vibrant business community. Especially if you do not have in-house government relations staff or contract lobbyists to move your issues, our public affairs team can be a powerful ally and a valuable benefit of membership.
St. Paul Area Chamber