The 2021 legislative session is right around the corner, kicking off on Tuesday, Jan. 5. The GMPT has three top goals for the upcoming session:
- Ensuring that Greater Minnesota receives 20% of the Legacy trail fund
- Ensuring that the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission receives operating funds
- Advocating for funds for the DNR local parks and trails grants programs
Although there have been changes in how the legislative committees are arranged, for our issues we will be seeing many familiar faces. Sen. Carrie Ruud (R-Breezy Point) and Rep. Leon Lillie (DFL-North St. Paul) will be chairing the Senate and House Legacy committees, while Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria) and Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL-South St. Paul) will be chairing the Senate and House Environmental Finance committees.
Last week, GMPT lobbyist Elizabeth Wefel led a forum where she provided more in-depth information on the latest political shifts and how they relate to parks and trails. You can view her presentation here.
As we work on our legislative goals, our members’ help is always needed. Throughout the session we will be asking for your help through action alerts and other requests. Working together is how we achieve our goals at the Legislature.
For at least the first month of the session, the Legislature will be meeting virtually. This provides some opportunities for you to connect with your legislators. We encourage you to reach out to your senator and state representative now. It is a good time to invite them for an in-person socially distanced visit or a virtual visit to your parks and trails. Building a relationship with your legislator before you need something is a key to success.
If you have any questions about our legislative goals or how to effectively lobby, please contact GMPT lobbyist Elizabeth Wefel at firstname.lastname@example.org.