MN Hospitality Advocate

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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Meetings with Key Legislators

Posted in General Advocacy, Resort Issues, Restaurant Issues, State Laws, Tourism Issues by hospitalityminnesota on February 11, 2010

As part of our 2010 Legislative Agenda, we felt it was important to meet with key legislators to share our issues and provide background and explanation. We met with House Commerce Chairman Joe Atkins (DFL-Inver Grove Heights) and talked about a wide range of issues, including beverage taxes, alcohol taxes, ignition interlocks, Labor Day School, video games of chance and more. We also had the opportunity to share time with the Chairman on the issue of Online Travel Companies and the possible taxation of their service charges for hotels.

We met with Senate Tax Committee Chairman Tom Bakk (DFL-Virginia) on many of the same issues. We visited with Rep. John Ward (DFL-Brainerd) on several key tourism issues, including Labor Day School, protection of local option Lodging Taxes, additional hospitality taxes and vacation home rentals.

In all cases, we are able to effectively share our concerns. With the session just under way, now is the perfect time to contact your legislators and share with them your issues. We have all of our issue briefs on our web site at http://www.hospitalitymn.org. Check those out and act today to reach your legislators.

Also, please prepare now to attend Hospitality and Tourism Day at the Capitol on March 18 at the Best Western Kelly Inn. This event is extremely important in showcasing the power of our industry.

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