Last week, the House introduced HF232, which puts in place additional funding for Explore Minnesota Tourism (EMT). The bill has 3 components, which include:
Last week, Liz Rammer and Board Chair Cathy Bovard attended Governor Walz’s signing of HF31, ensuring state taxes conform with federal tax exclusions on 46 provisions, including EIDL Loan Advances, Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants and Shuttered Venue Grants. This has been long advocated for by Hospitality Minnesota and was approved in the 2022 legislative session but was not signed into law due to other larger bills that were attached did not get passed. Having this be the first bill to get signed is a great way to start the legislative session – with a win from on our legislative agenda for many of our members!
The Senate and House have introduced SF225/HF406, which establish carbon monoxide alarm requirements modifications for hotels and lodging houses. This would a result in a change to “provide and install one approved and operational carbon monoxide alarm in each room lawfully used for sleeping” and “replace any required carbon monoxide alarm that has been stolen, removed, found missing or rendered inoperable” before a new occupancy. We are closely monitoring the legislation and checking in with members, as it has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.
Please reach out to HM Director of Government Relations, Jill Sims, if you’d like to share feedback of how this would impact your business.
This week, Governor Walz has begun to roll out components of his budget, which will be fully available by Tuesday, January 24. The announcement thus far has been focused on education and children. We will provide more updates next week as we have a full picture of the Governors proposed budget for 2024-2025.
This week, the Senate began the hearing process for Paid Family and Medical Leave, SF2/HF2. Today, Senate Jobs and Economic Development committee heard the bill, and tomorrow Senate Labor will hear the bill. HM is closely monitoring the bill as a one size fits all mandate is challenging for small businesses. HM is weighing in appropriately and working in coalitions to give feedback on the legislation.
Key components of the Paid Family and Medical Leave legislation, as drafted:
After a whirlwind week of legislative action, we’ve achieved a big win! Our association has been advocating for federal tax conformity to ensure that pandemic relief funds would not be taxable. The legislation takes effect immediately, just in time for the tax prep season.
We were honored to be invited to witness the bill signing, and be asked to make some brief comments. You can find the moment that Governor Walz thanks Hospitality Minnesota, Liz Rammer/CEO; and Cathy Bovard/Board Chair at 1:02 in KSTP's coverage. Liz takes the podium at 23:30 to make brief remarks and answer questions.
Watch KSTP's Coverage of Yesterday's Signing
Read Liz's Statement on the Passage
We don’t expect the action to slow up. Legislators will not be at the Capitol on Monday in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but here’s quick rundown of what we’re watching at the Capitol next week:
On Monday, the House introduced their cannabis legalization bill, HF100, as well as the House Research Summary describing various provisions the bill would allow if signed into law. In order to best advocate for our industry, HM staff is coordinating conversations with other state associations across the country that have gone through similar legislation to guide our advocacy. To formalize our association's position on the issue, HM staff will conduct outreach to members to gather input on cannabis legalization. Watch for details.
For those unfamiliar with the details of what cannabis legalization could entail for Minnesota, the HM staff suggests reading the latest Star Tribune article discussing what impact legalization would have on the state.
This week, Drivers Licenses for All (HF4/SF27) has received multiple hearings in the House and Senate. HM Director of Government Relations Jill Sims testified in support of HF4/SF27 in House Transportation on Tuesday and in support of HF4/SF27 in the Senate yesterday.
To date, 18 states across the country have enacted laws in which immigrants are able to obtain driving credentials, which provides for safer and more reliable transportation to and from work. As we await comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level, the reform at the state level will bring forward a practical solution what will benefit all of Minnesota.
On Friday, incoming Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic (DFL, Minneapolis) announced the Senate committee chairs for the 2023-2024 biennium. They are:
While over in the House, Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL, Brooklyn Park) and incoming House Majority Leader Jamie Long (DFL, Minneapolis) announced the House chairs. They are:
The 2023 legislative session begins on January 3.
Follow as we advocate for the hospitality industry at the local, state and federal levels. This work has been a hallmark of the Association for decades, and will continue to be a core benefit of membership.