Legislative Update – March 14, 2017

As you heard at the EMT conference a little over a month ago, the Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition (MTGC) is working hard to increase EMT’s budget for the next biennium.   Over the past four years, we have all benefitted as EMT funding has increased (due to MTGC’s legislative efforts).  We know that increased funding will benefit tourism organizations and businesses all across the state through increased tourism marketing, co-op grants, major events funding grants, and more.

Today, we are asking for your help with this legislative effort.  You can help in one or more ways:

  1. Financial Support: Contributions of all sizes are greatly appreciated and make a difference in our lobbying activities.  Contributing even on hotel room night of around $100 will be sincerely appreciated and help us fund this critical initiative.  Click here for a MTGC contribution form, or reply to this email and we will send you an invoice.
  1. Resolution of Support: Legislators look at who is supporting the MTGC, your support makes a difference.  You can submit a resolution of support through the MTGC website:  mntourism.net
  1. Contact Your Legislator: Legislative committees will be setting the budget very soon, please contact your local legislator and ask them to support HF 1161 and SF 215 to provide increased funding for Explore Minnesota Tourism.  Click here to find your legislator:  Legislator Contacts and click here for the MTGC Talking Points:

Please join the 30+ CVBs, resorts, attractions and other tourism businesses who have already contributed financially or adopted supporting resolutions to help grow EMT’s budget in this legislative session.

Let’s all step- up and support increased EMT funding that will have a positive ripple effect across the state and consider making this a regular part of your annual budget planning.

Thank you to those who have already supported MTGC and for your future support!  Please contact us with any questions.

Anna Tanski, MTGC President
Visit Duluth
[email protected]

Terry Mattson, MTGC Vice President
Visit Saint Paul
[email protected]

Doug Killian, MTGC Treasurer
Mall of America
[email protected]

Megan Christiansen, MTGC Secretarty
Visit Duluth
[email protected]

For a printable version of this information click here.

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.

Legislative Update – January 27, 2017

The 2017 Legislative session is underway, new and returning legislators are finding their way around the renovated Capitol building and have moved into their offices. The committees have begun working and will soon begin the process of putting together a budget for the next biennium.

Created in 2013, the Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition (MTGC) is again actively representing the tourism industry at the Minnesota Capitol. The MTGC works to increase the awareness of the importance of the tourism industry in Minnesota and advocates for needed funding growth for Explore Minnesota Tourism (EMT) marketing budget. We also work for continued funding of the major events funding grant pilot program, and funding for technology investments at EMT.

MTGC has worked with Sen. Carrie Ruud (Breezy Point), Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen (Alexandria), Sen. Tom Bakk (Cook), Sen. David Tomassoni (Chisholm) and Sen. Justin Eichorn (Grand Rapids) to sponsor SF 215. The bill provides increased funding of $10 million to EMT for marketing, $730,000 to continue the major events funding grant program and $2 million for EMT technology improvements.

This important legislation has been scheduled for a committee hearing on Monday, January 30th.

Senate Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee
Monday, January 30, 2017
1:00 – 2:30 p.m. (SF 215 will be heard at approximately 2:00 p.m.)
Room 1200 Minnesota Senate Building
SF 215 (Ruud) Explore Minnesota Tourism Funding

Many of you will be in St. Paul on Monday for the Explore Minnesota Tourism conference. We encourage you to attend the Senate committee hearing….we want to show a high level of tourism industry support for EMT!

Click here for talking points related to the MTGC tourism funding request. Please feel free to use this when talking to your local legislators and others.

The EMT Excellence in Tourism awards dinner in on Tuesday and the MTGC will be recognizing Rep. Dave Baker (Willmar) with the 2016 MTGC “Tourism Leadership Award”. Rep. Baker’s leadership and support led to the funding and creation of the major events funding pilot project passed last session. If you have the opportunity, please thank Rep. Baker for his support.

Thank you for your support of the MTGC and contact us if you have any questions.

For a printable version of this information click here.