Greater Mankato Growth is at the Capitol for their eighth annual excursion to bring attention to the area's legislative needs, with 125 people traveled north this morning from Mankato to St. Paul.

The event is meant to increase the visibility of the region to Minnesota's lawmakers.

But this year, Greater Mankato Growth isn't doing it allow.

Greater Mankato Growth Patrick Baker said, "This year we're partnering with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, partnering with the Rochester Chamber of Commerce and chambers from across the state of Minnesota to really carry the message of our communities across Minnesota matter."

About 700 people representing their cities have converged on St. Paul, talking about their business or organization and the issues they want lawmakers to address this session.

Minnesota Chamber of Commerce President Doug Loon said, "Convey their message, their story about how laws and regulations and how the government can make that run a little bit easier so they as a business can be successful and they and their employees can help their communities be successful."

For Greater Mankato, their working to stand out with many cities have hopes and dreams this session.

After the failures of the bonding bill and tax bill from the last session... the push is on again this year to get those passed.

Part of the larger tax bill includes the voter-approved local option sale tax extension, but area leaders are also looking at some larger tax issues.

Mankato Mayor Eric Anderson said, "It's also important to look at a larger, broader prospect with real property tax relief I think for commercial industrial buildings and some overhauls in the tax system."

Area public pre–K through higher education leaders are seeking help pushing their priorities.

MSU–Mankato and South Central College with bonding projects to Mankato Area Public Schools for funding and reforms to improve education for students.

On the transportation side, funding for a four–lane Highway 14 continues to be a big push, this year with Mankato and Rochester sharing a presence.

Baker said, "Especially with the growth in Rochester with destination medical center and the growth we're seeing in our community from a variety of sectors, particularly Ag, we have to make sure we speak with one voice."

Other issues spotlighted include healthcare with MNSure, the budget and unified labor law as cities enact ordinances for paid leave.

The attendees spent the afternoon talking with lawmakers and attending committee hearings.


--KEYC News 12