Public Policy Guide 2016
A guide to the area’s political and legislative landscape and overview of The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber’s public policy views and efforts.
Public Policy Guide | Page 2
Message from the President
On behalf of our more than 2,100 members and their 98,000 employees, The Chamber serves 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 are proud to represent our members in the public policy arena. In greater Minnesota, we are committed to protecting the funding mechanisms that allow border cities to remain competitive. We stand firm to mitigate policies that unfairly impact border cities and will advocate for expanded exemptions. The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo community is a strong and reliable economic engine for the state of North Dakota. We are proud to be the voice of our dynamic business community in Bismarck. We continue to advocate for sensible tax relief, a smart approach to the 21st century job market and permanent flood protection for our region. One of The Chamberâ€™s top priorities is to advocate for responsible and successful strategies to respond to our workforce shortage in our region. We are fortunate to live in a thriving metropolitan area that offers a strong economy, evolving job market and exemplary educational institutions. Itâ€™s imperative to the continued success of our community that we shine a light on the impressive opportunities that are available for people who are looking for a great place to work, live and do business. I invite you to please join us in our advocacy efforts and thank you for your Chamber membership.
Craig Whitney, President/CEO, The Chamber
Message from the Chairman
The foundation for a successful business climate is built on sound public policies and an engaged private sector. As chair of The Chamber’s Public Affairs committee, I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in the political education process with members of our committee and The Chamber’s Board of Directors. We’ve studied important issues and provided guidance for the membership on more ballot measures than ever before. I am proud of what’s been accomplished and continue to be amazed at how savvy the business leaders in our Chamber really are. It is by no accident that the economy in the Red River Valley continues to prosper.
I’d like to acknowledge the leaders of our subcommittees and our special task forces who stand ready to lend their expertise for the benefit of us all. As a business owner myself, I’ve learned the value of having a strong team and with depth of The Chamber membership, rest assured your interests are in good hands.
Dawson Insurance – Business Leaders for Flood Protection Task Force
Rasmussen College – Workforce Development
Cass County Electric Cooperative – Environment & Natural Resources
Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc. – Regulatory, Tax and Economic Development
Fargo Public School District Number One – Metro Cooperation
Blue Cross Blue Shield of ND – Health Care
KLJ – Planning, Transportation & Infrastructure I look forward to working with all of you in the year ahead.
Jim Roers, Public Affairs Committee Chair, The Chamber 3
Energy and Natural Resources Regulatory
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.
The Chamber supports the development of essential energy infrastructure including transmission lines, power generation facilities and pipelines to produce and transport local energy 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.
The Chamber values our spectacular natural environment and encourages responsible stewardship of state water, state trust lands, minerals, wildlife and other natural resources.
The Chamber values our spectacular natural environment and encourages responsible stewardship of state water, state trust lands, minerals, wildlife and other natural resources.
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Education,Training and Workforce 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
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-thejob 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 STEM disciplines. Additionally, The Chamber encourages the modernization of education to incorporate new technologies and cutting-edge teaching methods.
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. Regarding higher education, The Chamber supports increased programs that will increase students understanding of postsecondary education including costs, employment prospects and earning potential in their chosen fields.
The Chamber supports an educational and employment environment that embraces a diverse workforce and capitalizes on unique talents.
Health Information Exchanges
The Chamber supports the confidential exchange of health information to facilitate 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.
The Chamber supports policies that address regional funding disparities for health care providers to ensure continued access to health care services.
The Chamber supports policies that incentivize individuals for and saving for their long-term care needs while targeting limited public dollars toward those who can least afford their own care. Given the projected wave of seniors utilizing longterm 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.
The Chamber supports investments in evidence-based worksite wellness programs that encourages a personal responsibility role in reducing the costs of health care and also supports public policies that discourages the use of tobacco products, decreases the health risks associated with use and reduces the disparity between North Dakota and Minnesota tobacco tax laws.
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, tele-pharmacy 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.
Economic Development and Tax Policy North Dakota Tax Relief
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 Competitiveness
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-tobusiness taxes as well as protect and create new bordercity 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.
Earned Income Credit
The Chamber supports the viability of tax incentives that support workforce participation.
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.
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.
Flood Protection 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.
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.
Planning, Transportation and Infrastructure 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.
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.
Rail Safety and Efficiency
The Chamber supports minimizing risk of accidents by any means possible including replacing older tank cars, appropriate speed regulations, increased standards for track and equipment inspections. The Chamber also supports public outreach and first responder training to ensure officials are properly informed and trained to respond to potential situations.
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.
Transportation Infrastructure Investments
The Chamber supports investments in the National Highway System, Minnesotaâ€™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.
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.
The Chamber supports the vitality of air service to ensure sustainable access for commerce. 9
Constitutional Officers Governor Mark Dayton
Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith Attorney General Lori Swanson Mark Dayton
Secretary of State Steve Simon Minnesota Supreme Court
Lorie Skjerven Gildea, Chief Justice Barry Anderson Christopher Dietzen David Stras Wilhelmina Wright David Lillehaug Natalie Hudson
In Minnesota, constitutional officers include the governor/ lieutenant governor, attorney general, state auditor and secretary of state. Offices including the commissioner of education, commissioner of agriculture and commissioner of revenue are appointed positions.
NORTH DAKOTA Constitutional Officers Governor Jack Dalrymple
Lieutenant Governor Drew Wrigley Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem State Auditor Robert R. Peterson
Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm Secretary of State Alvin A. Jaeger Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt Superintendent of Public Schools Kirsten Baesler Public Service Commission Julie Fedorchak, Chair Randy Christmann Brian Kalk
North Dakota Supreme Court
Gerald W. VandeWalle, Chief Justice Dale V. Sandstrom Carol Ronning Kapsner Daniel J. Crothers Lisa Fair McEvers
Congressional Delegation Senator Amy Klobuchar
302 Hart Senator Office Building Washington, DC 20510 | 202.224.3244 121 Fourth Street South | Moorhead, MN 56560 218.287.2930 | klobuchar.senate.gov Amy Klobuchar
Senator Al Franken
309 Hart Senate Building Washington, DC 20510 | 202.224.5641 819 Center Avenue, Suite 2A | Moorhead, MN 56560 218.284.8721 | franken.senate.gov
Representative Collin Peterson
2204 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 | 202.225.2165 714 Lake Avenue, Suite 107 | Detroit Lakes, MN 56501 218.847.5056 | collinpeterson.house.gov
Minnesota State Legislature
State Capitol Building 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard Saint Paul, MN 55155 651.296.8338 | leg.state.mn.us District 4
Sen. Kent Eken Phone: 651.296.3205 Email: Sen.email@example.com
Rep. Ben Lien Phone: 651.296.5515 Email: Rep.firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Paul Marquart Phone: 651.296.6829 Email: Rep.email@example.com
Senator John Hoeven
338 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 | 202.224.2551 1802 32nd Avenue, Suite B | Fargo, ND 58103 701.239.5289 | hoeven.senate.gov
Senator Heidi Heitkamp
SH-110 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 | 202.224.2043 657 Second Avenue North | Fargo, ND 58102 701.232.8030 | heitkamp.senate.gov
1032 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 | 202.225.2611 3217 Fiechtner Drive, Suite D |Fargo, ND 58103 701.356.2216 | kevincramer.house.gov
North Dakota State Legislature
State Capitol Building | 600 East Boulevard Avenue Bismarck, ND 58505 Legislative Council | 701.328.2916 | legis.nd.gov District 1
Sen. Tim Mathern Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Carolyn Nelson Email: email@example.com
Rep. Ron Guggisberg Rep. Kathy Hogan Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com
Sen. Tim Flakoll Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Rep. Josh Boschee Email: email@example.com
Rep. Kris Wallman Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Blair Thoreson Rep. Mary Schneider Email: email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Kim Koppelman Email: email@example.com
Rep. Thomas Beadle Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Mary Johnson Email: email@example.com
Rep. Chris Olson Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Randy Boehning Email: email@example.com
Rep. Tom Kading Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Ben W. Hanson Email: email@example.com
Rep. Pamela Anderson Rep. Kathy Hawken Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com
Sen. Judy Lee Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Tyler Axness Email: email@example.com
Sen. Jon Casper Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Kyle Davison Email: email@example.com
Rep. Ben Koppelman Rep. Al Carlson Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com
Sen. Ronald Sorvaag Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. George Sinner Email: email@example.com
Rep. Jim Kasper Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
MINNESOTA Local Leaders Moorhead City Council
218.299.5305 | ci.moorhead.mn.us
Mayor Del Rae Williams
Delrae.email@example.com First Ward Del Rae Williams
Mari Dailey | firstname.lastname@example.org Nancy Otto | email@example.com
Heidi Durand | Heidi.firstname.lastname@example.org Jim Haney | Jim.email@example.com
Brenda Elmer | Brenda.firstname.lastname@example.org Mike Hulett | Mike.Hulett@ci.moorhead.mn.us
Chuck Hendrickson | email@example.com Steve Gehrtz | firstname.lastname@example.org
Dilworth City Council
218.287.2313 | dilworthcitymn.com
Mayor Chad Olson
email@example.com Elected City Officials of Dilworth
Jim Aasness | firstname.lastname@example.org Julie Nash | Julie.email@example.com Jason Kakac | Jason.firstname.lastname@example.org Kevin Spaulding | email@example.com
Clay County Commission
218.299.5002 | co.clay.mn.us District 1
Wayne Ingersoll | firstname.lastname@example.org
Frank Gross | email@example.com
Jenny Mongeau | firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Campbell | email@example.com
Grant Weyland | firstname.lastname@example.org
NORTH DAKOTA Local Leaders Fargo City Commission
701.241.1310 | cityoffargo.com
Mayor Tim Mahoney
email@example.com Fargo City Commissioners
Tony Gehrig | firstname.lastname@example.org Dave Piepkorn | email@example.com Melissa Sobolik | firstname.lastname@example.org Mike Williams | email@example.com
West Fargo City Commission
701.433.5300 | westfargond.gov
Mayor Rich Mattern
firstname.lastname@example.org West Fargo City Commisioners
Mark Wentz | email@example.com Duane Hanson | firstname.lastname@example.org Mark Simmons | email@example.com Mike Thorstad | firstname.lastname@example.org
Cass County Commission
701.241.5720 | casscountynd.gov District 1
Chad Peterson | email@example.com
Rick Steen | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ken Pawluk | email@example.com
Arland Rasmussen | firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Scherling | email@example.com
Legislator Contacts Contacting a Legislator in Minnesota
Minnesota legislators are assigned offices and a legislative assistant to help coordinate their work and constituent requests. Staff members can be very helpful in ensuring legislators receive your communications. In addition, calling, writing letters to their physical address and emailing are all acceptable means of communication. While visiting the Minnesota Capitol, meetings with your legislator can be arranged through their legislative assistant. They can also advise you on how to call a legislator out of a committee meeting or off the House or Senate Floor. How to Locate Your Minnesota Legislator Visit house.leg.state.mn.us/members/hmem.asp or senate.leg.state.mn.us/members/index.php to find out who your Minnesota Legislator is.
Contacting a Legislator in North Dakota
House and Senate leaders are the only members assigned an office and receive assistance from a legislative staff member. During a session, all legislators can be reached by leaving a message with the legislative telephone message center or by physical addresses listed on their biographies. North Dakota Legislative Telephone Message Center 1.888.NDLEGIS (635.3447) or 701.328.3373 North Dakota Legislator Email Addresses Legislators also have access to email and their addresses may be found at legis.nd.gov/contact-my-legislators.
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Selective Legislative Terminology Biennium
The two-year period by which North Dakota and Minnesota budgets are set. Unless called into special session, lawmakers in North Dakota meet once during the biennium, while Minnesota lawmakers have a flexible schedule, which means by law, they are not required to meet annually but are authorized to do so.
A proposal calling for a new law, a change in current law, the repeal of current law, or a constitutional amendment is drafted into a bill for consideration by the legislative bodies.
House and Senate members of the same political party or faction meet a â€œcaucusâ€? to elect leadership and discuss priorities.
When changes or amendments are made to a proposal, the original body can concur or not concur. Concurrence is an action in which one body approves or adopts a proposal or action taken by the other house.
A group of members from the House and Senate appointed to resolve differences in a proposal passed by both chambers in different forms.
Typically non-controversial bills that are awaiting their second reading.
Selective Legislative Terminology Companion Bills
In Minnesota, identical bills can be introduced in the House and the Senate. The bills can be passed out of both chambers into committees for further action. If both bills return to the House and Senate floor, a conference committee would be appointed to work out the differences. Companion bills are not used in North Dakota as typically a bill is introduced in the House or the Senate, is referred to a committee. Once it returns to the House or Senate floor it is voted on and if passed, sent to the second house. If the bill is amended by the second house, a conference committee ultimately is appointed to work out the differences.
Fiscal notes are intended to be an objective assessment on the price tag on proposed legislation on the change in expenditures and revenues that will result from a bill.
The months between adjournment of one regular session and the next is referred to as the â€œinterim.â€? When the legislature is not in session, committees continue to work on assigned studies and often produce legislation to introduce in the following session.
The official records of the House and Senate. Records are recorded and posted on their respective legislative web sites.
Lobbyists are individuals who are hired, or act on their own behalf to influence action in a particular manner. Information on how to register as a lobbyist, rules and reporting requirements can be accessed from each stateâ€™s Secretary of State office.
Legislatures can refer law making proposals to the voters by passing a referendum. The referendum would be placed on the ballot for a vote. 19
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. Photography provided by 5foot20 design lounge, Explore Minnesota Tourism, FATcat Studios, Legacy Photography and North Dakota Tourism/Clayton Wolt. 202 First Avenue North | Moorhead, Minnesota 56560 218.233.1100 | fmwfchamber.com
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