MN Hospitality Advocate

Legislative Fly-in to DC Yields Great Results

Posted in Lodging Issues, Restaurant Issues by hospitalityminnesota on April 18, 2010

The Minnesota delegation just returned from Washington, DC where we had great success in meeting with our Congressman and Senators. We had a chance to visit personally with both Senators, as well as meeting with four of our eight Congressman. We met with leading aides for the remainder of the representatives.

Key issues we discussed included food safety (H.R. 2749 and S. 510); Restaurant Depreciation (H.R. 4306); Business Meal Deductiion (H.R. 3333 and S. 2905); Interchange Fees (H.R. 2382, H.R. 2695 and S. 1212) and Paid Sick Leave.

The general consensus among the delegation was that Paid Sick Leave will not move this year. Democrats and Republicans alike are loathe to consider any legislation that might have a negative impact on jobs, and mandating paid sick leave is recognized as one issue that would likely result in job loss. Several key speakers also suggested that the “Card Check” legislation, otherwise known as Employee Free Choice Act, will not see movement in the near future. But they cautioned that the industry needs to remain vigilant.

Food safety will likely be taken up by the Senate in the next few weeks and can have a major impact on our industry. The National Restaurant Association is deeply engaged in the discussion and we support efforts to improve the safety of products that are purchased by restaurants.

David Siegel, CAE, IOM
Minnesota Restaurant, Lodging and Resort & Campground Associations and Hospitality Minnesota

Minnesota Legislature Pace Slows

Posted in Elections, General Advocacy, Health Care Reform, Lodging Issues, Resort Issues, Restaurant Issues, State Laws by hospitalityminnesota on April 14, 2010

The Minnesota legislature is in a bit of a holding pattern right now. Here’s the situation. State legislators facing a $900 Million budget shortfall have made cuts to achieve about 1/3 of the necessary savings. They are holding off on further action awaiting word on the impact locally of the federal health care insurance reform bill. The state is anticipated to receive some additional dollars as a result of changes in that legislation, but it’s unclear the full amount.

In addition, the party conventions are slated to take place in just a few weeks. Because so many current legislators in leadership are running for Governor, they are reluctant to take controversial stands on issues such as budget cuts prior to the nominating conventions. Much of the remainder of the session will depend on the outcome of the nominating process. We’ll be on top of it and keep you posted.

David Siegel, CAE, IOM
Minnesota Restaurant, Lodging and Resort & Campground Associations and Hospitality Minnesota

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