2021 PUBLIC POLICY GUIDE
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 i
Greetings A note from the President I am thrilled to be joining the FMWF Chamber of Commerce as the organization’s new president & CEO! One of the many things that drew me to this job was the rich policy and advocacy efforts that were already underway. As a bi-state, multi-city region, we have tremendous opportunities to leverage for further support of our future metro successes. As a catalytic leader, I have continued to enjoy learning about all our region is doing and am excited to bring my expertise and new ideas to the region. Advocacy, being one of the pillars that guides our Chamber, is a key component of the work we are passionately engaged in. Although we certainly advocate for our member businesses, it doesn’t stop there. Through our efforts, we advocate for a strong regional economy with a rich quality of life. I’m tremendously excited to be stepping into this role with a Chamber that has been a long-standing leader in policy and advocacy, serving as a fair and balanced voice, earning the respect of many public officials and community leaders. Advocacy is, and will continue to be, central to the work we do. As an advocacy leader in the community, talent and workforce development remains one of our key priorities. Workforce is one of my passion areas, and I have been fortunate to find great success and have developed valuable experiences across the other communities I’ve worked in. Workforce means education, talent attraction, retention and much more, and I’m excited to join a region that already has a great foundation. And, I look forward to building upon that success. Another area we will continue to focus on is ensuring permanent flood protection through the FM Diversion Project. I have also served in a community that experienced the effects of a catastrophic flood and witnessed firsthand the devastation it caused to the community and the negative effects this has on livelihoods, commerce and the economy. I am thrilled to now join the community that has had forward-thinking leaders who have taken action on this issue. The FM Diversion Project is well on its way to success having overcome various obstacles, and I look forward to providing the full weight of The Chamber behind the steadfast support for this crucial project and seeing it through to its finish. I’m looking forward to partnering with all of you to build upon the great successes we as a community have enjoyed.
Shannon Full President/CEO The Chamber
The Chamber 2021 Public Policy Guide
Table of Contents OVERVIEW OF WHATâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S COVERED As one of the largest chambers in both Minnesota and North Dakota, we are proud to serve as the voice of business in the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo metropolitan region. Representing more than 2,100 members and over 109,000 employees, we take advocacy and public policy very seriously. The Chamber is committed to representing our membersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; interests. Whether lobbying for specific legislation or bringing policy makers and business leaders together to generate innovative solutions, we work to advance sound policy for the business sector.
Greetings from Shannon Full, President & CEO . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Key legislative dates . . . . . . . . . . 3 Chamber stances . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Elected officials . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 About public policy at The Chamber . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Legislative terminology . . . . . . . 15
Key Legislative Dates Minnesota JANUARY 5
There is no yearly deadline for introducing legislation. However, each year the legislature establishes deadlines for committee action on bills. Committee deadlines are announced during the first half of the session. For details, check the legislative page at leg.state.mn.us/leg/schedules.
North Dakota JANUARY 5
Session begins (State of the State Address)
Deadline for representatives to introduce legislative
Bills and resolutions, except constitutional amendments and study resolutions, must be reported out of committee in house of origin
Deadline for senators to introduce legislation JANUARY 28
Deadline for introducing resolutions, except constitutional amendments and study resolutions
Crossover date for bills MARCH 1 & 2
Crossover date for resolutions APRIL 7
Bills and resolutions must be reported out of committee in second house APRIL 30
Session must end (session limited to 80 legislative days)
Study resolutions and proposed constitutional amendments must be reported out of committee fmwfchamber.com
Agriculture, Energy and Natural Resources
Agriculture Access to Capital
The Chamber is a strong advocate for the agriculture industry, focusing especially on Minnesota and North Dakota, and supports initiatives and policies that enhance its vitality. Our region is an epicenter for various agricultural equipment manufacturing, food processing, commodity marketing, extension research, land improvement and conservation efforts. As such, The Chamber supports these existing industries and new initiatives as their existence provides value added synergies toward a strong economy and enhanced food security network locally, nationally and internationally.
The Chamber 2021 Public Policy Guide
The Chamber recognizes the importance of reliable and affordable access to financial capital and supports policies and initiatives that both retain existing and attract additional capital required by our agriculture industries to achieve viability, growth and prosperity. Examples include both traditional and non-traditional types of debt and equity financing. The Chamber also recognizes the need for start-up capital for beginning farmers, ranchers and agri-businesses in the genesis for innovation and sustainability of agriculture.
The Chamber supports predictability in energy markets by opposing 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 recognizes that energy resources compete in regional markets that are significantly impacted by federal policy as well as state and local interventions. Thus, The Chamber does not support prohibiting energy development or affording advantages to one type of energy resource at the expense of another.
The Chamber supports the development of essential energy infrastructure including transmission lines, power generation facilities and pipelines to produce and transport local energy to regional and national markets. 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.
Comprehensive Energy Policy
The Chamber supports the thoughtful development of regional energy resources, as well as local access to a vast array of resources that provides the link to comprehensive energy solutions and promotes energy independence.
The Chamber values our natural environment and encourages responsible stewardship of state water, State Trust Lands, minerals, wildlife and other natural resources. The Chamber supports sound policies and programs that promote both economic and environmental sustainability.
Education, Training and Workforce Development
Early Education Expansion
21st Century Workforce Skills
The Chamber supports public policies that increase the availability of affordable, quality, early childhood learning opportunities and career advancement opportunities for professionals in the early childhood industry, to meet the growing demand and critical importance of early childhood education.
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 effective new technologies and cutting-edge teaching methods beginning with middle and high school learning.
Alignment of Education and Employment
The Chamber supports the strategic development of a skilled workforce that aligns with regional employment opportunities and encourages consistent communication between employers, students and educators.
The Chamber supports an educational and employment environment that embraces a diverse and equitable workforce and capitalizes on unique talents.
The Chamber supports policies and programs that encourage internships, mentorships and on-thejob training opportunities. The Chamber supports initiatives that increase the understanding of post-secondary education opportunities including costs, employment prospects, and realistic lifetime earning potential in their chosen fields. The Chamber 2021 Public Policy Guide
Workforce Development, Recruitment and Rentention
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 increase students understanding of postsecondary education including costs, employment prospects and earning potential in their chosen fields. The Chamber recognizes quality career academy and higher education as one of its top priorities that ensures the economic vitality of our region. The Chamber advocates for a funding level that reflects the importance of higher education and the workforce shortage in order to see the continued success of higher education in North Dakota adequately preparing middle and high school, academy and college students for the workforce.
The Chamber recognizes the continued need to train, recruit and retain a talented workforce, and encourages an integrated approach to meet the workforce needs of employers and employees. The Chamber supports the development and expansion of public and private outreach efforts to promote local opportunities. The Chamber supports programs that provide access to digital skills training, tailoring our workforce strategy to include highly -skilled immigrants, and the strengthening of career counseling programs to reflect all options and opportunities available to students and graduates during and after high school. Furthermore, The Chamber supports developing quality of life programs and initiatives in order to attract and retain a dynamic workforce. In addition, The Chamber supports efforts to reduce the regulatory burden on occupational licensing and reciprocity.
The Chamber advocates for the continuation of the current higher education funding formula in North Dakota and the ability of students to transfer credits they have earned, which lead to timely graduation. The Chamber advocates for continuous and, if necessary, bold improvements to higher education governance.
Health Care Health Information Exchanges
The Chamber supports the confidential exchange of health information, including the secure electronic exchange through updated streamlined systems, 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 and lessen the administrative burden on providers.
Reduce Health Disparities
The Chamber supports policies and direct resources that address disparities in health care to ensure continued access to health care services, including behavioral health.
The Chamber supports policies that incentivize individuals to save for their longterm care needs while supporting Medicaid, Medicaid expansion and other public programs that provide support for those who can least afford their own care. The Chamber supports the continuation of rate equalization. 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.
The Chamber supports investments in evidence-based worksite wellness programs that encourages a personal responsibility role in reducing the costs of health care.
Innovative Healthcare 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 technological innovations, the review of medical liability laws to ensure they are current and address the needs of citizens, and support for payment methodologies that reward providers for quality, coordinated care and the management of chronic diseases.
Healthy People/Healthy Communities
Early investment in prevention and intervention will not only reduce expenditures for treatment and recovery, but the individual served earlier can expect to have a better and more productive life. Emphasize the wellness of North Dakotans and Minnesotans by supporting prevention and proven interventions to address behavioral, social, environmental determinants of health, including housing and nutrition and access to high-quality, cost-effective health care. The Chamber supports research, education and training that protects lives and livelihoods. Healthy living initiatives foster a community that attracts a strong workforce and positive economic impact. The Chamber advocates for the incorporation of healthy living initiatives (e.g., walkability, parks, wellness, trails, etc.) in all aspects of development. The Chamber 2021 Public Policy Guide
Regulatory, Economic Development and Tax Policy Tax Relief
The Chamber supports the continued reduction of taxes while recognizing the need to preserve the viability of necessary services and maintain local control. The Chamber supports a fair and balanced system of taxation.
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 longterm 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.
Border City Competitiveness
The Chamber supports border city programs and policies that enable Minnesota cities to be competitive, including Local Government Aid and the Disparity Reduction Credit. The Chamber supports efforts to eliminate business-tobusiness taxes, as well as protect and create new border-city exemptions. The Chamber recognizes the common business market between Cass and Clay counties and supports programs and policies that promote synchrony within it.
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 that foreign trade distortions require a balanced trade policy.
The Chamber supports the viability of tax incentives that support workforce participation, development and diversity.
Flood Protection Permanent Flood Protection
The Chamber supports permanent flood protection and mitigation efforts to help protect the economic vitality of our region. The Chamber supports the FM Area Diversion project as the best solution to reduce the flood risk and provide protection of lives and property, as well as avoid recuperation costs and ensure economic opportunity.
The Chamber recognizes that achieving the necessary flood risk reduction will not come without impacts 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 and vibrant community.
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 2021 Public Policy Guide
Planning, Transportation and Infrastructure Comprehensive Transportation Planning
The Chamber supports the continued investment in technology in our communities, including in our rural areas, such as expanding the access to fast, reliable internet.
The Chamber supports a quality, multi-modal transportation system that allows people and goods to move efficiently, 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 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 public transportation initiatives, such as MATBUS operations, that promote a cost-effective means to transport residents and the workforce to areas across the metro in a safe and reliable manner
The Chamber supports a strategic and synergetic approach toward community development, which includes the implementation of proven economic tools to promote investments in the greater metropolitan area.
The Chamber supports the continual investment in community assets to contribute to the improved livability of our region. This may include building a convention center and/or performing arts center, where The Chamber would support first conducting an unbiased study of construction and/or expansion.
Rail Safety and Efficiency
The Chamber supports initiatives that enhance traffic flow and minimize the risk of accidents.
Air Service & Pilot Shortage
The Chamber supports the vitality of air service to ensure sustainable access for commerce. The Chamber also recognizes the importance of quality, predictable and affordable service to support our business in the region. The Chamber realizes that the nation is facing a major shortage of military and commercial pilots, and thus, advocates for additional programs and efforts, as well as reducing the regulatory burden, in order to encourage pilots training and qualification.
Residential and Commercial Development Housing Attainability
The Chamber supports public and private efforts to provide adequate and attainable housing in the region for all local residents in the form of affordable, safe, and quality housing for purchase or rent. The Chamber supports subdivision and zoning regulations that encourage efficient, orderly development, while allowing flexible and innovative development strategies.
The Chamber continues to support the study of all reasonable options in regard to special assessment reform. The Chamber also supports a community conversation that encompasses a public education effort of its complexities and proposed fixes
Development and Infill
The Chamber supports initiatives that promote a balance of diverse housing stock by providing new housing in outlying areas, while revitalizing the cores of our cities through thoughtful infill development.
Economics of Construction
The Chamber supports an atmosphere friendly to construction of residential and commercial structures to serve local residents. The Chamber supports incentives and codes that bolster and sustain a robust business sector, facilitate homeownership, and the creation of neighborhoods to maintain strong, vibrant communities. The Chamber recognizes that investment in residential/ commercial development has a desirable ripple effect felt throughout a multitude of industries through job creation and consumer spending.
Consistent, Reasonable Codes
The Chamber supports efforts for consistency among local jurisdictions in regard to residential and commercial building codes, inspections and enforcement. The Chamber 2021 Public Policy Guide
Emerging Opportunities for Commerce and General Provisions Unmanned Autonomous Vehicles (Drones)
The Chamber acknowledges the detrimental effect of vacated commercial spaces including “big box” buildings with large amounts of unutilized square footage. The Chamber supports efforts of the public and private sectors to determine, promote and activate creative solutions for repurposing of these vacated commercial spaces.
The Chamber supports the safe integration of autonomous systems that result in lowered infrastructure and labor costs while addressing any security, safety or privacy issues that might arise.
The Chamber supports technological advances that support the security and privacy of business and personal information.
Military - Prevention and Defense
The Chamber supports our local military, especially the Air National Guard, and will continue to advocate that they are not negatively affected by base closures due to the important missions they carry out that are crucial to our nation’s security.
SIIF (Strategic Investment and Improvements Fund) or Subsequent Programs
The Chamber supports a reevaluation of the current distribution formula of North Dakota’s oil tax. This includes a review and changes to the tax that can improve the short- and long-term infrastructure backbone in Cass County and across the state.
Public policy can be a dynamic, fast- paced process that at times requires swift action in order to support or oppose critical, but unexpected ideas or proposals. The FMWF Chamber President/CEO is authorized to take a position on behalf of The Chamber’s best interests on issue(s) not covered in the Public Policy Guide provided that they have secured approval from the Board of Directors.
Protecting Property and People The Chamber supports programs for recovery efforts from natural disasters or health crises that impact the region
Governor Tim Walz
Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan
Attorney General Keith Ellison
Secretary of State Steve Simon
* In Minnesota, constitutional officers include the governor/ lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state and state auditor. Members of the Governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cabinet and the various commissioners are appointed positions.
State Auditor Julie Blaha
MINNESOTA SUPREME COURT
Lorie Skjerven Gildea
Anne K. McKeig
G. Barry Anderson
Natalie E. Hudson
Margaret H. Chutich
The Chamber 2021 Public Policy Guide
NORTH DAKOTA Constitutional Officers
Secretary of State
Superintendent of Public Schools
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
NORTH DAKOTA SUPREME COURT
Jon J. Jensen
Gerald W. VandeWalle
Daniel J. Crothers
Lisa Fair McEvers
Jerod Tufte 13
Congressional Delegation Senator Amy Klobuchar 425 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 | 202.224.3244 121 Fourth Street South | Moorhead, MN 56560 klobuchar.senate.gov | 218.287.2219
Senator Tina Smith 720 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 | 202.224.5641 819 Center Avenue, Suite 2A | Moorhead, MN 56560 tsmith.senate.gov | 218.284.8721
Representative Michelle Fischbach 1237 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 | 202.225.2165 2211 First Street, Suite 190 | Willmar, MN 56201 fischbach.house.gov
MINNESOTA STATE CAPITOL BUILDING 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard Saint Paul, MN 55155 leg.state.mn.us | 651.296.8338
The Chamber 2021 Public Policy Guide
NORTH DAKOTA Congressional Delegation Senator John Hoeven 338 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 | 202.224.2551 123 Broadway North, Suite 201 | Fargo, ND 58102 hoeven.senate.gov | 701.239.5389
Senator Kevin Cramer 400 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 | 202.224.2043 657 Second Avenue N | Fargo, ND 58102 cramer.senate.gov | 701.232.5094
Representative Kelly Armstrong 1740 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 | 202.225.2611 3217 Fiechtner Dr. Suite B | Fargo, ND 58103 armstrong.house.gov | 701.353.6665
NORTH DAKOTA STATE CAPITOL BUILDING 600 East Boulevard Avenue Bismarck, ND 58505 legis.nd.gov | 701.328.2916
ELECTED OFFICIALS 4
Minnesota legislators are assigned offices and a legislative assistant to help coordinate their work and requests â&#x20AC;&#x201C; for assistance, you can reach out to the appropriate legislative assistant. For the house, visit house.leg.state. mn.us/members/list. For the senate, visit or senate.mn/members.
NORTH DAKOTA State Legislature
House and Senate majority and minority leaders are the only members assigned to offices and receive assistance from a legislative staff member. The best way to reach legislators during the session are by email, telephone or mail. All legislator contact information may be found at legis.nd.gov/assembly/67-2021/members. DISTRICT 11
Sen. Tim Mathern firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Judy Lee email@example.com
Rep. Gretchen Dobervich firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Kim Koppelman email@example.com
Rep. Ron Guggisberg firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Austen Schauer email@example.com
Sen. David Clemens firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Kathy Hogan email@example.com
Rep. Ben Koppelman firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. LaurieBeth Hager email@example.com
Rep. Andrew Marschall firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Mary Schneider email@example.com
The Chamber 2021 Public Policy Guide
44 21 16 11 41 46 27
Sen. Kent Eken 651.296.3205 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Heather Keeler 651.296.5515 email@example.com DISTRICT 4B
Rep. Paul Marquart 651.296.6829 firstname.lastname@example.org
STAY UP TO DATE!
A great way to stay up to date on the most important issues your Chamber is advocating for is by receiving our Advocacy in Action email list at: fmwfchamber.com/communication. Also, utilize the state legislative tracking options:
MINNESOTA: leg.state.mn.us (navigate to MyBills) NORTH DAKOTA: legis.nd.gov/legislative-bill-tracking-system
Sen. Mark Weber email@example.com
Sen. Kristin Roers firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Michael Howe email@example.com
Rep. Ruth Buffalo firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Brandy Pyle email@example.com
Rep. Greg Stemen firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Kyle Davison email@example.com
Sen. Merrill Piepkorn firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Pamela Anderson email@example.com
Rep. Josh Boschee firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Michelle Strinden email@example.com
Rep. Karla Rose Hanson firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Ronald Sorvaag email@example.com
Sen. Jim Roers firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Mary Johnson email@example.com
Rep. Jim Kasper firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Tom Kading email@example.com
Rep. Shannon Roers Jones firstname.lastname@example.org
Throughout 2020, the United States, Minnesota and North Dakota will go through the process of redistricting. Following 2020, some of the legislative districts may change. 17
MINNESOTA Local Leaders
MOORHEAD CITY COUNCIL
218.299.5166 | cityofmoorhead.com MAYOR
Johnathan Judd | email@example.com FIRST WARD
Matthew Gilbertson | firstname.lastname@example.org Shelly Dahlquist | email@example.com SECOND WARD
Laura Caroon | laura.caroon @ci.moorhead.mn.us Shelly Carlson | firstname.lastname@example.org THIRD WARD
Deb White | email@example.com Larry Seljevold | firstname.lastname@example.org FOURTH WARD
Steve Lindaas | email@example.com Chuck Hendrickson | 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 Steven Jesme | email@example.com Julie Nash (Vice Mayor) | firstname.lastname@example.org Kevin Peterson | email@example.com
CLAY COUNTY COMMISSION
Jenny Mongeau | 701.238.2987 firstname.lastname@example.org
218.299.5002 | claycountymn.gov DISTRICT 1
Jenna Kahly | 701.799.8929 email@example.com
Kevin Campbell | 701.318.0030 firstname.lastname@example.org
Frank Gross | 218.2872152 email@example.com The Chamber 2021 Public Policy Guide
David Ebinger | 701.212.0383 firstname.lastname@example.org 18
NORTH DAKOTA Local Leaders
FARGO CITY COMMISSION
701.241.1310 | fargond.gov MAYOR
Tim Mahoney | email@example.com FARGO CITY COMMISSIONERS Dave Piepkorn (Deputy Mayor) | 701.809.5449 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Tony Gehrig | 701.893.8185 | email@example.com Arlette Preston | 701.715.2862 | firstname.lastname@example.org John Strand | 701.241.1310 | email@example.com WEST FARGO CITY COMMISSION
701.433.5317 | westfargond.gov MAYOR
Bernie Dardis | 701.367.2784 | firstname.lastname@example.org WEST FARGO CITY COMMISIONERS
Eric Gjerdevig | email@example.com Brad Olson (Commission Vice President) | firstname.lastname@example.org Mandy George | Amanda.email@example.com Mike Thorstad | firstname.lastname@example.org HORACE CITY COMMISSION
701.492.2972 | cityofhorace.com MAYOR
Kory Peterson | email@example.com HORACE CITY COMMISIONERS
David Fenelon | firstname.lastname@example.org Chelsey Johnson | email@example.com John Koerselman | firstname.lastname@example.org Bryan Schmidt | email@example.com CASS COUNTY COMMISSION
Jim Kapitan | firstname.lastname@example.org
701.241.5720 | casscountynd.gov Chad Peterson | email@example.com
Duane Breitling | firstname.lastname@example.org
Rick Steen | email@example.com
Mary Scherling | firstname.lastname@example.org 19
About Public Policy at The Chamber Public Policy is sometimes confused with politics, but the difference is important. Politics is the way a group of people make decisions and govern. Public policy, on the other hand, refers to issues that affect businesses and individuals. The Chamber is heavily involved in public policy, but not politics. Our goals are to actively engage with public officials and advocate for sound business policies, while you’re focused on ensuring your organization’s success. “Advocating for sound business policy” can sound daunting, but don’t let that intimidate you! It really means speaking up and telling your story. Public officials want to hear from business leaders, employees, volunteers, students, you name it. It is crucial that they hear real-world stories of the impact particular policy is making on the lives of their constituents. When we speak as a collective voice through an association like our Chamber, we can do more together and move the needle for positive change. Our Public Policy committee does just this. The committee acts as The Chamber’s advocacy arm, working to advance sound public policy and promote a stable regulatory environment for our business community to thrive. They do this by speaking their voice at meetings, sharing their thoughts directly with public officials and recommending our board take stances on a variety of issues. Recently, the committee has recommended stances on a variety of issues including policy relating to taxes, higher education, regulations and more. Once our Board of Directors takes a stance regarding an issue, we take action on that issue by educating and advocating. We know that a strong business climate is essential for economic growth and prosperity as a region, so we speak out on the issues that are critical to our members. 2020–21 COMMITTEE CHAIR
CHAMBER STAFF SUPPORT
Tim Flakoll, Tri-College University
Katie Mastel, Government Affairs & Advocacy Manager
For more information about this committee, email Katie at email@example.com.
The Chamber 2021 Public Policy Guide
Select 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 group of members from the House and Senate appointed to resolve differences in a proposal passed by both chambers in different forms. CONSENT CALENDAR
Typically non-controversial bills that are awaiting their second reading.
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.
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 “interim.” When the legislature is not in session, committees continue to work on assigned studies and often produce legislation to introduce in the following session.
House and Senate members of the same political party or faction meet a “caucus” to elect leadership and discuss priorities. 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.
The official records of the House and Senate. Records are recorded and posted on their respective legislative websites. LOBBYIST
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 state’s Secretary of State office. REFERENDUM
Legislatures can refer law making proposals to the voters by passing a referendum. The referendum would be placed on the ballot for a vote.
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.
PUBLIC POLICY SUPPORTING SPONSORS
AE2S | Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota Bremer Bank | First International Bank & Trust Moore Engineering, Inc. | Sanford Health 21
This guide was developed by the Public Policy 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, and North Dakota Tourism/Clayton Wolt.
202 First Avenue North | Moorhead, Minnesota 56560 218.233.1100 | fmwfchamber.com