With the start of the 2021 legislative session less than three months away, the GMPT officially kicked off its preparations by formally adopting its 2021 policies and legislative agenda at the Annual Membership Meeting on Oct. 21.
Before formulating the agenda and reviewing the policies, GMPT conducted a membership survey this fall. This survey confirmed that protecting Greater Minnesota’s share of Legacy funding and securing funding for local parks and trails grant programs continue to be top priorities. Read a summary of the results.
GMPT’s legislative policies are a vision statement for how we approach the legislative session. They do not change much from year to year and reflect what we would like to happen at the Legislature. This year we made only minor changes, reflecting our support for additional state and federal resources for local parks and trails and for an amendment reauthorizing the dedication of lottery proceeds to environmental purposes, including funding for local parks and trails grants programs.
We adopt a new agenda each year to reflect the issues that we will primarily work on in the upcoming legislative session. This year, we anticipate that the majority of our efforts will focus on ensuring that the 2021 Legacy bill dedicates at least 20% of the parks and trails fund to Greater Minnesota. We will also work to ensure that the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission is funded. We will also advocate for inclusion of funding for local parks and trails grant programs in the 2021 bill adopting recommendations for the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. Our adopted legislative agenda reflects those priorities.
During the discussion, GMPT Chair Mike Nigbur made an important reminder to members – if you want to achieve results at the legislature, start building relationships with your legislators now. Legislators may not remember you if they only hear from you once a year. If you connect with them multiple times over the course of months or years, they are more likely to remember and listen to you. If you haven’t reached out to your legislators recently, now is a good time to drop them an email or phone call to say hello and let them know what your organization has been up to over the last several months.
If you have any questions regarding GMPT’s legislative work, please contact lobbyist Elizabeth Wefel at firstname.lastname@example.org.