Thursday, February 25, 2016

Know the ABCs of the 2016 MN Legislative Session

The Minnesota Legislature is less than two weeks away from convening for the 2016 session! The combination of this year’s late start as well as the construction going on around the Capitol mean that it will be a short and extra-busy time for our state legislators.

So what can you do now to ensure that city issues are addressed during this session's hubbub? Here are the ABCs you can follow to make the most out of this year’s abbreviated session:

A—Acquaint yourself with our IGR team.
The Capitol building is closed for renovation during the
2016 session.

Visit our intergovernmental relations (IGR) team staff page to put some faces to names and learn who works on your city's biggest policy issues. Give them a call or send an email to make that connection before the big rush. You can follow IGR staffers via Twitter for reports on committee discussions and more—Twitter handles are included in their contact info. Use the hashtag #LMCLeg to hone in on legislative updates from all of our staff, and add your own thoughts to the discussion. And of course, follow the League's Twitter account @MinnesotaCities for a variety of city news as well as
Senate DFLers have moved into their offices at the new
Minnesota Senate Building.
legislative highlights.

B—Begin with good background.
Need a refresher on where the Legislature left off last year, and what issues they have to finish working on? This article from a recent issue of Minnesota Cities magazine will give you a nice synopsis: "Taking Care of Unfinished Business."

The State Office Building is not under construction. The offices
of representatives and (temporary) Republican senators are here.
C—Confirm you're subscribed to the Cities Bulletin and Capitol Updates.
Can't keep your eyes on committee schedules and Capitol chatter 24-7? You don't have to! Sign up for Cities Bulletin and Capitol Updates and we'll bring you the information you want, when you want it. Subscribe to the Cities Bulletin to get the most important city news and information in a weekly e-newsletter. Subscribe to Capitol Updates to receive mid-week updates (up to once per day) on
bills and committee votes impacting city issues during the session.

League staff are here to help you tell your city's story and
advocate effectively—from city hall or here in St. Paul.
D—Dust off the crystal ball.
Join us for a free web broadcast that will preview key city issues. On March 3, the League is hosting a free webinar that will serve as a preview to the 2016 legislative session. Tune in to hear directly from our IGR staff about which key issues will be most important for cities this year and what you can expect. Register for the legislative preview webinar on March 3

E—Energize your advocacy.
Whether here in St. Paul or back home in your city, you can make a difference by connecting with your legislators about city issues. Not sure where to park if you come to St. Paul during the session? Confused about where hearings will be held while the Capitol is closed? Find detailed answers to these questions—including a video on how to find your way—at Wondering how best to tell your city’s story and lobby for the issues most important to your community? Get helpful tips from our free advocacy guide.

We here at the League are ready for the 2016 legislative session, but we can't do it without you! Let’s work together to create good outcomes for cities like yours across the state.

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