Statewide Policy Tour

Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

The Minnesota Chamber presented their 2015 Legislative Priorities at a Statewide Policy Tour meeting today. The will advance another aggressive agenda in 2015 to ensure Minnesota offers a competitive landscape to jump-start and grow businesses. Priorities will be: tax relief, education/workforce, health care, transportation and labor/management.

Tax Relief

  • Improve competitiveness of small and midsize business by reducing the tax burden on their business income that is passed through to their personal income tax returns
  • Reduce corporate tax rate to improve competitiveness as it is currently 3rd highest in nation
  • Enhance research and development credit to incent innovation and good-paying jobs
  • Improve overall competitiveness by reducing other taxes such as estate tax and repealing automatic tax inflators

Education and Workforce

  • Accelerate workforce training efforts by leveraging customized training and apprenticeship programs
  • Help high school students earn college credit before they graduate by expanding dual-credit programs
  • Continue efforts to reform teacher tenure to keep the best teachers in the classroom, regardless of seniority
  • Expand high-quality charter schools, and reform struggling charter schools
  • Streamline testing – reduce the overall number of required tests and better utilize the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments

Health Care

  • Eliminate the employer assessment for the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association
  • Convert premium tax that funds MNsure to a user fee
  • Support reforms to strengthen the transparency and oversight of MNsure
  • Address the Health Care Access Fund deficit through program reforms, without raising taxes
  • Ensure employers have as many options as possible, such as defined contribution plans, for providing health insurance to employees

Transportation

  • Maintain the current transportation system with strategic improvements
  • Pass a 10-year funding plan that focuses, first, on efficiencies and use of current resources
  • If additional funding is needed, look to the general fund and then new user fee models like value capture

Labor/Management

  • Enact workers’ compensation reform by creating an inpatient hospital fee schedule for reimbursement
  • Repeal automatic inflation index in the minimum wage rate