Legislative Update – July 2018

The Minnesota summer tourism season is alive and well in Minnesota!  It’s been a mix of heat, storms and beautiful summer days – in Minnesota, we know how to adapt our day to any kind of weather.  Parades, festivals, concerts, and activities are happening across the state from the X-Games coming to Minneapolis this week, to Paul Bunyan Days in Akeley, Turtle Races in Perham, Sinclair Lewis Days in Sauk Centre, the Wilder Pageant in Walnut Grove, the Blueberry/Arts Festival in Ely, Heritage Days in East Grand Forks, the Boats & Bluegrass Festival in Winona and more!

The 2018 legislative session ended with several vetoes and very little passing into law.  Since it was not a budget year, there was no threat of a possible government shut-down and most legislators left to hit the campaign trail.  The MTGC testified in several committee hearings, educating legislators about the economic impact of tourism and sharing success stories from the first few rounds of major events funding grants.  These real-life stories hit home with legislators when they can see how the state’s investments are put to work.

One of the few bills which passed was the capital projects or bonding bill.  This bill provided funding for projects across the state, and many will benefit tourism.  Some of the projects which received funding include: Glensheen Mansion, Minnesota Zoo, Historic Fort Snelling, Children’s Theatre Company, Litchfield Opera House, Wabasha Eagle Center, as well as several state parks, and state, regional, and local trails.   A full list of funded projects can be found at this link: bonding bill spreadsheet.

Another bill of interest becomes law on August 1, 2018, which makes it a crime for a person to directly or indirectly intentionally misrepresent an animal as a service animal in any place of public accommodation in order to obtain rights or privileges available to a person who qualifies for a service animal.  The full text of the bill can be found at this link: service animal law.

As you are hosting events in your community or attending an event, you likely will run into a legislator (or two!) or a candidate running for office.  Please take the time to tell your tourism story – the economic impact of tourism to your community, the benefits of a strong tourism industry, the impact on jobs and hospitality, etc.  Making these personal connections will be so important as we head into the 2019 legislative session and the next tourism state budget is appropriated.

Watch your e-mail later this summer for tips and talking points to share with local and state leaders relating to tourism as the election season heats up.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Thank you for your support of tourism in Minnesota!

Sincerely,

Sarah Psick, Lobbyist
Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition
spsick@psickcapitolsolutions.com
info@mntourism.net

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