Our 2022 Legislative Priorities

Membership supports the Brainerd Lakes Chamber’s efforts to stand up for small businesses at the local, state and federal level. Together with the Minnesota Chamber, we join forces with more than 50 local chambers to advance a set of state legislative priorities each year. Thanks to our volunteer Government Affairs Committee and Board of Directors for leading the charge in this work!
Minnesota’s 2022 legislative session will be dynamic as both parties make their case for reelection in the fall. Because district boundaries will be redrawn based on census results, Governor Walz and all 201 legislators will be on the ballot. A major issue will be how the legislature allocates a massive budget surplus and federal relief funds.

Minnesota State Budget Growth

Minnesota is flush with cash in 2022, including: 
  • $7.7 billion budget surplus
  • $1.15 billion in unspent federal funds
  • $2.66 billion in budget reserves
  • 65% total budget increase since 2012
Blue and Red Graph showing MN State Government spending showing a sharp increase

Here are our top legislative priorities for 2022:

While the state has a huge budget surplus, small businesses are still dealing with the COVID pandemic, workforce challenges, supply chain issues and rising inflation. In order to keep Minnesota competitive, we believe that now is NOT the time to ask for more money or enact more mandates.

Get Minnesota out of the top 5 in taxes.
Minnesota has the third highest corporate income tax and fifth highest personal income tax rate in the country. In addition, we are one of the few states that charge a business property tax, which is normally reserved for funding cities, counties and school districts. We support continually reducing these tax rates, especially since many small business owners report income through their personal tax returns.
Replenish unemployment insurance.
When businesses were shut down early in the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of workers accessed unemployment insurance for an extended time. This emptied the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund, which now has a deficit of over $1 billion. If policymakers don’t act, employers will be hit with double-digit payroll tax increases this spring.
Oppose paid time off mandates.
Faced with a historic workforce shortage, Minnesota businesses have dramatically increased wages and benefits to attract and retain talent. We oppose state interference in the form of new mandates, including proposals that would force employers to pay additional taxes (similar to unemployment insurance) that enable employees to take up to 24 weeks of paid sick and family leave time each year.
Enact effective workforce strategies.
Minnesota businesses are subject to a special payroll tax that generates over $150 million for workforce development programs that many employers do not use. We envision a more collaborative approach in the development of these programs, further alignment between business and education, and a tax credit to support those who train and develop their own employees.

Eggs and Issues Legislative Breakfast, Presented by Xcel Energy

7:30 to 9:30 a.m. | Friday, March 25th
Madden’s Resort, Wilson Bay Dining Room
$25 per person

Become a Business Champion Sponsor!

$250 includes two event tickets and special recognition at all 2022 government affairs events, including Eggs and Issues and fall candidate forums.

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