Budget Bills are Assembled
The 2023 Legislative session has moved into the budget phase and many House and Senate committees have been assembling budget bills ahead of today’s third committee deadline to complete this work. This includes committees with Explore Minnesota Tourism under their jurisdiction.
The House Economic Development Finance Omnibus bill, HF 3028 (DE Amendment) includes funding and policy language for the Tourism Industry Recovery grants program, as well as several of the Governor’s budget recommendations for Explore Minnesota Tourism. Spreadsheet
- $2 million Tourism Industry Recovery Grants (MTGC initiative)
- $11.8 for new initiatives (Governor’s recommendation), of this amount, the following grants are designated:
- $6 million for large-scale sporting and other major events grants,
- $2.2 million for grants to MN’s 11 Tribal Nations to promote and support new tourism opportunities,
- $2 million to expand diversity, equity, inclusions, and accessibility through tourism marketing,
- $1.25 million for tourism and hospitality industry grants and the Governor’s Opener events,
- $176,000 to develop new resources and increase engagement for the tourism industry,
- $174,000 to develop a long-term sustainability plan for tourism.
- $3.884 million FY24 and $746,000 FY25 to maintain current EMT service levels
On behalf of the Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition, I provided testimony supporting the House Economic Development Finance budget bill recommendations. Also, a letter from the Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition, Community of Minnesota Resorts, and Minnesota Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus was submitted to the committee in support of the House funding.
- $3.884 million FY24 and $746,000FY25 to maintain current EMT service levels,
- $12 million FY24 one-time funding to develop Explore Minnesota for Business Division, plus policy language establishing Explore Minnesota Business Council, etc.
- $250,000 FY24 to Grand Portage.
The Senate budget bill does not include funding for the Tourism Industry Recovery grants or funding for the Governor’s new grants initiatives.
House & Senate Committee Chair Perspectives
As you read through the bill language and spreadsheets for the House and Senate budget bills, I think it would be helpful to listen to the opening comments from House Economic Development Finance Committee Chair Hodan Hassan and Senate Jobs and Economic Development Finance Committee Chair Bobby Joe Champion to understand their perspective as they made budgeting decisions. They each speak about a focus on getting state dollars to organizations and people who have not traditionally participated in economic development programs or received state funds, while also providing funding to state agencies and other organizations.
Legislative Break, Legislator Contacts
The Legislature will be taking an Easter/Passover break from 5:00 p.m. on April 4th and resuming legislative activity on Tuesday, April 11th. Following the break, the bills will be reviewed by the House Ways & Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee. Then, they will be voted on by the full House and Senate before moving to a conference committee to resolve the differences between the bills.
If you run into your local legislators while they are home on break, please encourage them to support funding for the Tourism Industry Recovery Grants and EMT funding included in the House Economic Development Finance bill.
I also encourage you to email or call the House and Senate Chairs with the following message:
Chair Hodan Hassan: Thank you for funding the Tourism Industry Recovery grant program and EMT budget grant recommendations in the House Economic Development Finance bill.
- [email protected]
- (651) 296-0294
Chair Bobby Joe Champion: Please include funding for the Tourism Industry Recovery grant program in the Senate Jobs and Economic Development Finance bill.
- [email protected]
- (651) 296-9246