91st Minnesota Legislature, county-specific, and statewide specific priorities
Each year, the Olmsted County Board of Commissioners approves a set of priorities for advocacy during the state legislative session. If you’d like more information about any of these priorities, please contact Jennifer Berquam.
The 92nd Minnesota Legislature convenes on January 5, 2021. For up-to-date information, please visit the Minnesota Legislature website.
2021 State Legislative Priorities
Resource recovery facilities: Oppose legislation that limits, prohibits, or interferes with a county’s ability to perform its solid waste management responsibilities as required by Minnesota Statutes Chapters 400 and 473. This includes ensuring the viability of resource recovery facilities, which support the state’s solid waste management hierarchy and help provide an effective, efficient, and environmentally focused waste management system for all residents.
Health and Human Services (HHS) financing and service delivery: County and state human services programs help meet essential needs of Minnesota residents. Olmsted County urges the legislature to support the following when making HHS budget and policy decisions during session:
- HHS COVID-19 waivers: Policy flexibility may yield positive results, rather than rely on a uniform approach. We have learned through COVID-19 waivers that implementing new practices and relaxing others can improve financial and service delivery outcomes, such as telehealth services.
- Short and long-term COVID-19 response needs: Ongoing local public COVID-19 response requires resources to support activities such as vaccine distribution and continued community outreach. Continued need for county human services programs, such as mental and behavioral health, housing stability, and economic assistance is also expected.
- DHS restructuring: The state must fulfill its foundational, regulatory requirements of an accurate and accountable service delivery system that supports the state and counties as reliable and efficient service providers, funders, developers, and collaborators. A long-range, transformational approach is needed to redesign how the DHS and system partners deliver vital services.
- Modernized technology systems: It is imperative the state modernize the HHS technology environment to support the goals of a person-centered, integrated health and human services delivery system. Equitable access to health and human services through telepresence is a key component of modernized technology systems.
- Racial equities and disparities: All HHS programs should recognize the need for reducing disparities and achieving equity.
Broadband investment: Increase investments in broadband statewide, such as through the Border to Border Broadband Development Grant Program, to address disparities and ensure residents in unserved and underserved areas have access to technology needed for remote participation in domains such as work, schooling, and health care.
Increase affordable housing stock: Support the increase of affordable housing to those at all income levels by investing in both preservation and increasing the supply of new housing. A recent Maxfield housing study revealed the largest housing gap in Olmsted County is for active seniors.
Transportation funding: Enact a comprehensive transportation funding package that increases constitutionally dedicated sources of revenue for roads, bridges, transit, and active transportation.
County program aid: Maintain county program aid (CPA) at current law levels and, following economic recovery, index the annual appropriation for inflation.
Property tax levy decisions: Ensure local control for counties in property tax levy decisions by not imposing levy limits, property tax freezes, or reverse referendums on proposed property tax increases.
Tax forfeiture properties clean-up: Support legislation to address the expenses counties incur for the clean-up and maintenance of blighted or environmentally contaminated tax forfeiture properties.
Compensation limits: Remove the total compensation limits for positions in local government (MS 43A.17, Subd. 9) to enable local elected officials to govern effectively and carefully manage tax dollars.