The Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors leads the way in representing the Voice of Business for Chamber members.
Watch for links on this website and programming on FCTV for videos of candidates for local and state office.
Here are more ways to get to know the candidates!
“Pints and Politics”
The Chamber Ambassadors and Y-Pro Club are hosting Pints and Politics from 5-6 pm Tuesdays in October at Mill City Restaurant.
This one hour event will give you a chance to meet with candidates in a casual atmosphere. Bring your questions and get to know the candidates
School Board Tuesday, October 7 5-6 pm
City Council Tuesday, October 14 5-6 pm
County Offices Tuesday, October 21 5-6 pm
State Representative Tuesday, October 28 5-6 pm
Open House with the Candidates.
South Central College Student Senate is presenting an Open House with the Candidates.
Monday, October 27 South Central College Conference Room 5-7 pm
All local candidates are invited to attend this event. There will be an “expo style” table for each candidate so you can visit with one or many about YOUR issues and YOUR questions. A brief program will be offered, giving each candidate few minutes to speak.
This event is free and open to the public.
AAUW forums – at 7 pm at City Hall October 2–City and County candidates (Kymn Anderson, moderator) October 9–School Board candidates (Cheryl Freund, moderator) October 23–State candidates (Linda Mitchell, moderator)
Here is a link to another opportunity to get involved in a pro-business campaign for the coming election
Legislature leaves its mark; circle November 4
By William Blazar
The 2014 Legislature is history, and its impacts may be long lasting. The results for business priorities were mixed. To be certain, no one legislative session makes or breaks the state’s economy. It will take a few years to really know the impact of this session. Important, however is the effect of legislative actions on the mindset of employers. That’s worrisome as we increasingly hear about Minnesota businesses rethinking their plans to invest and grow here. The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and our local partners across the state made progress in spite of a session that overall proved challenging for businesses. We, along with the United for Jobs Coalition, scored an early and significant victory in repealing all three of the 2013 business-to-business sales taxes – a direct savings to companies’ bottom lines. These taxes would have totaled $314 million for Fiscal Year 2014-2015 alone. Other accomplishments included:
• Environmental regulations: We shortened the environmental permitting timetable to better reflect the actual average time of processing. Permits not requiring a public comment period must be completed within 90 days, and those requiring a public comment period within 150 days.
• Education/workforce: Several of our education priorities advanced, including improving the information parents receive about student progress, expanding opportunities for students to earn college credit while in high school, and better aligning workforce preparation with workforce needs through industry-developed training programs.
• Transportation: We insisted that Department of Transportation make progress on maximizing dollars through more efficient use of resources. The Minnesota Department of Transportation is required to identify 5% in cost-savings in its FY 2015 budget, allowing nearly $50 million from existing tax dollars to be redeployed to transportation projects – without increasing taxes.
Successes notwithstanding, the legislative landscape was challenging on many fronts to pass pro-jobs legislation and block anti-jobs measures.
Leading our concerns:
• Minimum wage: The state’s minimum wage will be phased in to $9.50 on August 1, 2016. Starting in 2018 and ongoing, the wage will increase automatically with inflation. We supported conforming to federal rate of $7.25 to align with our neighboring states.
• Workplace mandates: We succeeded in mitigating costs for several new employer mandates and defeated some particularly onerous measures. Requirements include expanded sick leave, new accommodations and remedies for nursing mothers and pregnant employees, and an expansion of required unpaid pregnancy leave from the current six weeks to 12 weeks. Among other measures, employers cannot restrict employees from disclosing their wages or discipline them for doing so. Employers seeking to do business with the state face burdensome new reporting requirements.
• Education/workforce: No progress was made to improve the quality of teacher preparation programs, fix teacher tenure and retention laws, or strengthen charter schools.
The results of the 2014 Legislature, on top of the 2013 session, send an overriding message: Elections matter, beginning with this November. Our challenges at the Capitol underscore why we must elect individuals who understand what it takes to develop and expand Minnesota’s economy. It’s imperative that we strengthen the voice of business at the Legislature.
The Minnesota Chamber works every day to strengthen the business environment. We’re here to help all Minnesota business succeed. Watch for our Voting Record in June to see which legislators supported business priorities. Then circle your calendars for November 4 and send a pro-jobs, pro-business majority to the Capitol in 2015.
William Blazar is senior vice president of public affairs and business development, and David Olson is president, at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce – www.mnchamber.com.
State Senator Vicki Jensen 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55155 (651) 296-9457 firstname.lastname@example.org State Representative Patti Fritz 551 State Office Building 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd St. Paul, MN 55155 (651) 296-8237 email@example.com
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|The Chamber also watches local issues – here is the list of the Rice County Commissioners legislative PrioritiesRice County 2014 Legislative Priorities|
|And the Legislative Priorities established by the City of FaribaultCity 2014 Legislative Priorities|
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