Legislative Update – February 27, 2017

The Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition (MTGC) has been busy meeting with legislators and advocating for increased tourism funding at the State Capitol!  MTGC sponsored legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate to provide increased funding to Explore Minnesota Tourism.  SF 215 (Ruud) and HF 1161 (Layman) propose increasing the EMT marketing budget by $5 million each year for the next two years, funding EMT technology improvements, and providing an additional $750,000 to continue the major events funding grant program across the state.

To date the bill has been heard in two committees in the Senate.  At the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Legacy Finance committee Senator Carrie Ruud (R, Breezy Point) presented the bill and testimony was presented by members of the tourism industry.  The committee hearing took place on the Monday before the annual EMT conference and many conference attendees were present in the audience to show support.  The bill was passed on to the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Finance committee where it was given a bill hearing on laid over for possible funding in the omnibus budget bill.

Testifying for the bill at one or both of the committees were:

  • Sarah Psick, Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition lobbyist
  • Terry Mattson, Visit Saint Paul
  • Anna Tanski, Visit Duluth
  • Megan Christiansen, Visit Grand Rapids,
  • Christy Riley, Southern Minnesota Tourism
  • Karen Sanger, Cedar Point Resort, Marcell
  • Doug Killian, Mall of America
  • Anna Thill, Visit Mankato
  • Joe Henry, Lake of the Woods Tourism
  • Tim Aarsvold, Geneva Beach Resort, Alexandria

Thank you to everyone who testified and attended the committee meetings to show support for increased EMT funding.  The bill will be scheduled for a hearing in the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance committee in the next few weeks.

The committee hearing, testimony and committee discussion can be viewed online.

Senate Environment Policy Committee Hearing Video

Senate Environment Finance Committee Hearing Video

The next step will be for a committee hearing in the House Environment & Natural Resources Policy and Finance committee.  Stay tuned!

Thank you for your continued support of the MTGC, please contact us with any questions.

For a printable version of this information click here.

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