Growing prosperity in greater minnesota

GMNP gears up for the legislative session

The 2016 legislative session begins on March 8 and the Greater Minnesota Partnership is already hard at work advocating for our top priorities. The GMNP determined a list of nine 2016 policy positions last summer, but we will be focusing our efforts on a few main issues during the legislative session:

Workforce housing – The GMNP’s top priority this session is passing legislation that will help address the shortage of middle-income, workforce housing that affects many communities in Greater Minnesota. We are seeking the establishment of a workforce housing tax credit that would be funded at $15 million in FY 2017 and $30 million in FY 2018. The workforce housing tax credit is included in the Senate tax bill, which is held over from last year and currently awaiting action in conference committee. In related news, GMNP Executive Director Dan Dorman met with leaders from the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce last week and they expressed an interest in working with the GMNP on this issue. Continue reading

Governor’s bonding bill includes $21M for BDPI grant program

Gov. Dayton unveiled his $1.4 billion bonding bill last week, and we were pleased to learn that it included $21 million for the Greater Minnesota Business Development Public Infrastructure (BDPI) grant program.

The BDPI program is a very important economic development tool for Greater Minnesota communities. It provides matching grants to cities and counties to help them build the public infrastructure needed for economic development. This year, the GMNP and its sister organization, the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, is lobbying for three policy changes as well as funding: raising the current cap on grants from $1 million to $2 million, requiring the state to match 50 percent of a project cost (currently the statute reads “up to 50%”), and allowing BDPI grants to help build industrial parks in anticipation of future growth. The $21 million recommended by the Governor will help DEED accommodate these larger grants.

The House and Senate have yet to release their versions of the bonding bill, but we are hopeful that they will follow Gov. Dayton’s lead and include funding for the BDPI program in their bills as well.

More information about the BDPI program, including a list of cities that have received grants, is available here.