Public Policy Position
2022 Legislative Session Priorities
Minnesota's economic recovery is imperative
2022 Federation Priorities in partnership with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce
Local chambers represent economic vitality in their communities. The Minnesota Chamber Federation unites and amplifies the voice of local chambers by advocating for policies to advance business in every corner of the state. We have worked to promote pro-growth policies to the Legislature for a more than a decade, helping ensure that state lawmakers understand the needs and interests of Minnesota's diverse and successful local business community.
The state's 2 year budget was set in 2021 with nearly a 10% increase in spending from the previous biennium. Minnesota will likely have a significant budget surplus providing the opportunity to accelerate our state's economic growth and improving Minnesota's tax climate. The state will be flush with cash:
- $1.15 Billion federal funds unspent (from $2.8 billion federal ARPA bill)
- $2.39 Billion budget reserves (after expected transfer in November 2021)
- Billions in additional surplus dollars expected after the November 2021 forecast
Use American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds and the likely large budget surplus to help resolve the $1.13 billion deficit in Minnesota's Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. Nearly half of the other states in the country have replenished their unemployment insurance funds with money from the CARES Act or ARPA. Minnesota lawmakers could impose a significant payroll tax hike on employers to replenish the fund. Increased payroll taxes will further impede economic recovery. Employers should not be penalized especially when state and federal funds are available to cover this pandemic created deficit in the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.
Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce also supports the following positions on an on-going basis
- Repeal automatic inflation index & add a tipped employee tier to the Minnesota minimum wage law.
- Allow business owners, employers and employees to deduct the cost of insurance on a pre-tax basis regardless of the status of an employer's group plan. This would allow employers to reimburse employees for the cost of insurance, rather than stand the cost of a group plan which may not fit their needs.