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“The Chamber promotes economic growth and prosperity for business and its members through advocacy, education and engagement.�

from the President

On behalf of our more than 2,100 members and their more than 94,000 employees, The Chamber stands as the voice of business in the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo metropolitan region. As the largest local chamber in both Minnesota and North Dakota, we continue to represent our members in the public policy arena. In North Dakota, we are committed to advocating for businesses and property owners alike as we work to create sustainable tax relief. We will encourage our elected officials to study bold strategies such as the abolishment of income tax in North Dakota. Additionally, we will urge the Legislature to advance our educational systems to prepare a 21st century workforce while expanding recruitment initiatives to fill immediate gaps. Finally, it is important that the Legislature dutifully addresses the needs of those impacted by oil and gas production as well as infrastructure statewide. To preserve Greater Minnesota, we will work to protect the funding mechanisms that help cities compete outside of the metro and advocate for the expansion of border city exemptions. Further, we are committed to an economic development plan that supports job creation, training, internship, investments and infrastructure. Flood protection continues to be a top priority, and The Chamber supports the diversion project as the safest and most robust solution to protect our local economy. Long term, a solid mitigation plan will provide value and security in the region for generations to come. The Chamber is committed to providing opportunities to access our elected officials and engage in the public policy process. I invite you to join us as we work together to create an unmatched economic climate for business to prosper like never before. Craig Whitney President/CEO The Chamber




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This guide was developed by the Public Affairs committee and adopted by the Board of Directors of the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce. 202 First Avenue North Moorhead, Minnesota 56560 PO Box 2443 Fargo, North Dakota 58108-2443

218.233.1100 Fax 218.233.1200

Cover photo courtesy of Sen. Tim Flakoll (ND-44).

Community photography provided by:



The Chamber supports certainty in energy markets and opposes burdensome, unnecessary regulations and mandates that increase costs for businesses and consumers. The Chamber supports responsible regulations driven by and in response to local conditions and needs.

Coal Moratorium

The Chamber supports efforts to lift the Minnesota moratorium on importing energy from new coal power facilities.

Energy Infrastructure

The Chamber supports the development of essential energy infrastructure including transmission lines, power generation facilities and pipelines to produce and transport local power to market. Additionally, The Chamber encourages increasing refining capabilities to drive additional investment in local energy resources, strengthen the economy and increase the availability of a reliable supply of natural resources.

Energy Development Impact

The Chamber encourages the allocation of appropriate resources to communities affected by energy development to ensure access to adequate water, power, housing, infrastructure and workforce needs.

Comprehensive Energy Policy

The Chamber supports the efficient development of regional energy resources. Local access to a vast array of resources provides the link to comprehensive energy solutions and supports energy independence.

Environmental Stewardship

The Chamber values our spectacular natural environment and encourages responsible stewardship of state water, State Trust Lands, minerals, wildlife and other natural resources.




“ By working together

to succeed.


we can prepare all students

DEVELOPMENT Early Education Expansion

The Chamber supports public policies that increase the availability of affordable, quality, early childhood learning opportunities and career advancement opportunities of early childhood professionals to meet the burgeoning demand and critical importance of early childhood education.

Alignment of Education and Employment

Dr. Lynne Kovash Superintendent Moorhead Area Public Schools


Co-Chair of the Education, Training and Workforce Development Subcommittee

The Chamber supports the strategic development of a skilled workforce that aligns with regional employment opportunities and encourages increased communication between employers and educators. The Chamber supports programs that provide internships, mentorships and on-the-job training opportunities.

21st Century Workforce Skills

The Chamber encourages a curriculum that emphasizes science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) as well as the acquisition of resources necessary to support the STEAM disciplines. Additionally, The Chamber encourages the modernization of education to incorporate new technologies and cutting-edge teaching methods.

Education Funding

The Chamber supports the allocation of financial resources to support student success. Funding should leverage programs that increase retention and on-time graduation, attract and retain the most effective teachers and accurately reflect population growth.

The Chamber supports an educational and employment environment that embraces a diverse workforce and capitalizes on unique talents.

Strategic Workforce Development

“inInvestment education is vital



to grow the economic base.

The Chamber recognizes the continued need to train, recruit and retain a talented workforce and encourages a multi-pronged approach to meet the workforce needs of employers. The Chamber supports the expansion of the H-1B visa program to reform the highly-skilled immigration program, the development and expansion of public and private outreach efforts to promote local opportunities and the strengthening of career counseling programs to reflect all options and opportunities available to graduates after high school.

Melinda Rustad Campus Director Globe University




Co-Chair of the Education, Training and Workforce Development Subcommittee



an abundance

Health Information Exchanges


of high-quality providers, programs of distinction and

state-of-theart resources,

FMWF will continue to

be a national leader


in health care.

The Chamber supports the confidential exchange of health information to facilitate the access to and retrieval of clinical data regardless of the setting of treatment. This exchange of information will reduce the duplication of services, reduce costs and increase the quality and efficiency of care.

Public Funding

The Chamber supports policies that address regional funding disparities for health care providers to ensure continued access to health care services.

Long-Term Care

John Vastag

Director of Health and Medical Transformation Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota


Chair of the Health Care Subcommittee

The Chamber supports policies that incentivize individuals to be responsible for planning and saving for their long-term care needs while targeting limited public dollars towards those who can least afford their own care. Given the projected wave of seniors utilizing long-term care, The Chamber encourages greater participation in information sharing by employers and employees and supports innovation in the delivery of long-term care that promotes consumer choice and reduces costs.

Health Benefit Exchanges

The Chamber supports the advancement of a state-governed health benefit exchange through a collaborative partnership that leverages existing technologies to provide an online marketplace to access local health insurance products, programs and services.

Cost Containment Strategies

The Chamber recognizes the need for affordable health care and supports public policies that address the growing cost of care including: the promotion of wellness programs, the implementation of telehealth, telepharamacy and other innovations, the examination of medical liability laws and supporting payment methodologies that reward providers for quality, coordinated care and the management of chronic diseases.





and TAX POLICY North Dakota Tax Relief

Tax policy should be


stable and relatively predictable.

The Chamber supports the continued reduction of property taxes, business taxes, individual income tax and sales tax while recognizing the need to maintain local control. The Chamber strongly supports the examination of reducing the state income tax to zero as a means to attract workforce and reward personal and corporate success.


Border City Competiveness

Rocky Schneider Public Affairs Strategist AE2S

Chair of the Regulatory, Tax and Economic Development Subcommittee

The Chamber will continue to support programs that allow Minnesota border cities to be competitive, including Local Government Aid and the Disparity Reduction Credit. The Chamber will support efforts to eliminate Business to Business taxes as well as protect and create new border-city exemptions.



The Chamber supports ventures that foster the formation and advancement of business incubators to encourage start-ups, accelerate time to market and increase the rate of long-term success. The Chamber encourages the advancement of programs that provide access to capital or spur capital investment in the private sector to promote and support entrepreneurship.

The Chamber supports the viability of tax incentives that support workforce participation.

Global Trade

The Chamber supports efforts to expand fair global trade opportunities for North Dakota and Minnesota businesses by removing trade sanctions and barriers and enforcing existing trade agreements. The Chamber recognizes the foreign trade distortions that require a balanced trade policy.

“ Over regulation continues to be a

serious challenge


Earned Income Credit

to small businesses.

Tort Reform and Legal Climate

The Chamber supports identifying opportunities to improve the legal climate to be fair and predictable for all parties and to discourage the practice of costly, frivolous lawsuits.

Marshal Albright

Vice President of Member and Energy Services Cass County Electric Cooperative Inc.

Chair of the Energy, Environment and Water Management Subcommittee





Permanent Flood Protection

The Chamber supports the FM Area Diversion project as the best solution to reduce the flood risk in the metropolitan area and provide protection of lives, property and economic opportunity.

Multiple Funding Sources

The Chamber supports the allocation of financial resources for the construction and maintenance of the diversion project from all available local, state and federal partners.

Impact Mitigation

The Chamber recognizes that achieving the necessary flood risk reduction will not come without a cost and encourages sponsors and stakeholders to make every effort to minimize the impact to affected landowners.

Quality of Life

The Chamber supports the integration of recreational opportunities into the development of the diversion project to contribute to a healthy, vibrant economy. Tom Dawson Dawson Insurance The flood has taken its toll on our Chair of the Business


Leaders for Permanent Flood Protection Task Force

long enough.

Now is the time to move above political posturing and

wipe spring




from the list of headlines about our metro area.



At Risk


$23 billion in structure and content value


103,658 regional jobs


$4.35 billion in annual non-farming wages


$2.77 billion in annual taxable sales




$200 million in income and sales tax per year for the state of North Dakota $71 million in income and sales tax per year for the state of Minnesota $342 million spent on flood protection projects since 1990

Source: Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation and




2009 2008





2013 2012








INFRASTRUCTURE Strategic Development

The Chamber supports a strategic and synergetic approach toward community development. This includes implementation of proven economic tools to promote investments in downtown Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo. Additionally, The Chamber supports the study of construction and/or expansion of a multi-functional convention center to accommodate enhanced professional, educational and recreational opportunities.

Expanded Bandwidth Capacity

The Chamber supports a progressive private/public approach to developing an advanced digital infrastructure system through investments in the fiber networks resulting in the highest speed and bandwidth capacity available.

Comprehensive Transportation Planning

The Chamber supports a quality, multi-modal transportation system that allows people and goods to move quickly, conveniently and safely into and around the metropolitan area. The Chamber supports efforts to develop, integrate and maintain rail, air, bus and pedestrian services, including the expansion of services to new growth areas.

“ Proactive planning

and progressive investments in

transportation provide long-term


and infrastructure

economic benefits to the

Wade Frank


Structural Engineer KLJ Chair of the Transportation, Planning and Infrastructure Subcommittee


“ community, As a growing,

new opportunities and challenges are constantly on the


Transportation Infrastructure Investments

The Chamber supports investments in the National Highway System, Minnesota’s Interregional Corridors, and the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund through the examination of the motor fuel tax to ensure adequate resources are available for transportation infrastructure needs. Connie Nelson

Water Infrastructure

The Chamber understands the increase in residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural water use places a growing demand on existing water supplies that will be inadequate during periods of drought. The need to supplement the water supply to the Red River Valley has been clearly demonstrated; therefore, The Chamber supports the prioritization and advancement of the Red River Valley Water Supply Project to ensure the availability of a long-term, high-quality water supply.

District Grant Writer/ Manager Fargo Public Schools – District #1 Chair of the Metro Cooperation Subcommittee

Air Service




The Chamber supports the vitality of air service at Hector International Airport to ensure sustainable access for commerce.


Whether it’s hearing the vision for our metro’s future from area mayors at the State of the Cities or sharing ideas with candidates during the first Candidate Cracker Barrel, The Chamber is dedicated to keeping its members informed and familiar with elected officials at a local, state and national level.

Flood Protection Task Force Key to Projects Success

The Chamber leads the Business Leaders for Permanent Flood Protection task force to ensure the FM Area Diversion becomes a reality for Fargo Moorhead West Fargo. The group effectively shared the message about the importance of comprehensive flood protection for the Red River Valley during the 63rd Legislative Assembly in North Dakota, making numerous trips to the capitol and launching a website and statewide ad campaign. Advocacy efforts proved successful, resulting in the project securing immediate funding as well as codifying legislative intent for continued state partnership.

Historic Tax Relief Signed at Legislative Wrap-Up


North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple signed into law a record $250 million in income tax relief for North Dakotans during The Chamber’s North Dakota Legislative Wrap-Up. Senator Tyler Axness, Senator Tim Flakoll, Senator Tony Grindberg, House Majority Leader Al Carlson and Representative Ron Guggisberg provided legislative highlights and answered questions from members.

CEO/Founder ROERS 2014 Chair of the Public Affairs Committee

“successful business The foundation for a


Jim Roers

is built on sound public policies and an

engaged private sector.

Legislative Wrap-Up Launched in Minnesota

District 4 Senator Kent Eken, Representative Ben Lien (4A) and Representative Paul Marquart (4B) were featured at a legislative wrap-up event to provide a recap of the Minnesota Legislative Session. The panel highlighted topics from education to tax reform. “In the 38 years I’ve been involved in this area, this is the first time we’ve had an event of this nature.” – Morrie Lanning, Former Moorhead Mayor and Minnesota State Representative

Opportunities and Challenges Stem from Minnesota Session

The Minnesota legislative session provided The Chamber an opportunity to support economic development opportunities for border cities. The Chamber worked to oppose onerous solar mandates, radical tax increases on tobacco and alcohol and the expansion of business-to-business taxes.

Chamber Day at the Capitol

Chamber members traveled to the North Dakota Capitol to participate in committee hearings, attend floor sessions and meet with legislative leadership about issues important to the metro.





Governor Mark Dayton

Congressional Delegation Senator Amy Klobuchar

302 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 | 202.224.3244 121 4th St S | Moorhead, MN 56560 218.287.2219 |

Senator Al Franken

309 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 | 202.224.5641 60 E Plato Blvd, Ste 220 | St Paul, MN 55107 | 651.221.1016

Representative Collin Peterson

2211 Rayburn Office Building Washington, DC 20515 | 202.225.5641 714 Lake Ave, Ste 107 | Detroit Lakes, MN 56501 | 218.847.5056

Minnesota State Legislature

651.296.2146 | State Capitol Building 75 Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard Saint Paul, MN 55155 District 4 Sen. Kent Eken | 651.296.0504 District 4A Rep. Ben Lien | 651.296.5515


District 4B Rep. Paul Marquart | 651.296.5380


Governor Jack Dalrymple 701.328.2200 |

Congressional Delegation Senator John Hoeven

338 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 | 202.224.2551 1802 32nd Ave, Ste B | Fargo, ND 58103 701.239.5389 |

Senator Heidi Heitkamp

SH-502 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC | 202.224.2043 657 2nd Ave N | US Federal Office Building | Room 306 Fargo, ND 58102 | 701.232.8030

Representative Kevin Cramer

1032 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 | 202.225.2611 3217 Fiechtner Drive | Fargo, ND 58103 701.356.2217 |

North Dakota State Legislature

Legislative Council | 701.328.2916 | State Capitol Building | 600 E Blvd Ave | Bismarck, ND 58505 District 27 Sen. Spencer Berry | Rep. Thomas R. Beadle | Rep. Randy G. Boehning |

District 13 Sen. Judy Lee | Rep. Kim Koppelman | Rep. Alon Wieland |

District 41 Sen. Tony Grindberg | Rep. Al Carlson | Rep. Bette Grande |

District 16 Sen. Tyler Axness | Rep. Ben W. Hanson | Rep. Ben Koppelman |

District 44 Sen. Tim Flakoll | Rep. Josh A. Boschee | Rep. Blair Thoreson |

District 21 Sen. Carolyn Nelson | Rep. Kathy Hogan | Rep. Steven Zaiser |

District 45 Sen. Ronald Sorvaag | Rep. Ed Gruchalla | Rep. Joe Heilman |

District 22 Sen. Gary Lee | Rep. Wesley R. Belter | Rep. Peter Silbernagel |

District 46 Sen. George Sinner | Rep. Kathy Hawken | Rep. Jim Kasper |


District 11 Sen. Tim Mathern | Rep. Ron Guggisberg | Rep. Scot Kelsh |

LOCAL GOVERNMENTS Moorhead City Council

218.299.5305 |

Mayor Del Rae Williams

First Ward Mari Daily | Nancy Otto | Second Ward Jim Haney | Heidi Durand | Third Ward Brenda Elmer | Mike Hulett | Fourth Ward Chuck Hendrickson | Steve Gehrtz |

Dilworth City Council

218.287.2313 |

Mayor Chad Olson


Jim Aasness | Rick Cariveau | 218.979.1673 Ryan Mullikin | Julie Nash |

Fargo City Commission

701.241.1310 |

Mayor Dennis Walaker Tim Mahoney | Melissa Sobolik | Mike Williams | Brad Wimmer |

West Fargo City Commission

701.433.5300 |

Mayor Rich Mattern Mark Wentz | Duane Hanson | Mark Simmons | Mike Thorstad |

Clay County Commission

218.299.5002 | District 1 Wayne Ingersoll | District 2 Frank Gross | District 3 Jon Evert | District 4 Kevin Campbell | District 5 Grant Weyland |

Cass County Commission




701.241.5720 | District 1 Chad Peterson | District 2 Vern Bennett | District 3 Ken Pawluk | District 4 Darrell Vanyo | District 5 Mary Scherling |

2014 Public Policy Guide Sponsored by:

2014 Public Policy Guide  
2014 Public Policy Guide  

Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Guide.