Greater Minnesota-Con kicks off in Duluth, outstate issues front and center

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Was this year's round of lawmaking in St. Paul really "the Greater Minnesota Session?"

That's the big question Wednesday, the first day of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities' (CGMC) 2015 summer conference in Duluth.

The question refers to a promise a number of lawmakers and political hopefuls made last year about the 2015 legislative session, according to the Star Tribune.

Representatives of the cities that belong to the coalition were not impressed with the outcome, however, and called the session a "great disappointment" and a "wasted opportunity" to address the needs of Minnesota's rural communities.

CGMC President Heidi Omerza said in a June news release the Legislature failed to pass a major transportation bill that would have provided long-term funding for roads and bridges, and tax credits for workforce housing development, among other hoped-for legislation.

According to ABC 6, at least one lawmaker admitted they fell short of going to bat for outstate Minnesota.

"[Greater Minnesota issues] just didn't seem to get traction, didn't get the right amount of discussion," Rep. Jeanne Poppe of Austin told the station. "Things that were highlighted were probably more minor issues, but definitely there were a number of areas that we could have done more."

Nonetheless, among the conference's events is a "Legislative Awards dinner" on Thursday evening, in which the CGMC honors lawmakers at the state and city level who "worked tirelessly to advance Greater Minnesota's interests over the past year."

The conference, which gathers city leaders from across the state, runs through Friday and features talks with key legislators such as DFL House Speaker Paul Thissen and a speech from Lt. Gov. Tina Smith. Attendees also took a tour of Duluth, including stops at some of its breweries, according to the event schedule.

The CGMC is a nonprofit group made up of 85 cities outside the Twin Cities area, dedicated to building a "strong Greater Minnesota" through developing business- and family-friendly communities, and providing a voice for outstate Minnesota's economic interests in the Legislature.

Next Up

Governor Tim Walz

Governor Walz to announce 'sweeping' education plan Monday

The governor will address Minnesota at 2 p.m. Monday.

sun country

Sun Country adds 9 more flights out of MSP Airport

The new additions include large cities and popular outdoor destinations.

Zach Parise

Ghosts of Wild's past force split with Sharks

Brent Burns and Ryan Donato thwarted a comeback attempt by the Wild.

Avante Dickerson

Top-ranked recruit Avante Dickerson decommits from Gopher football

The four-star cornerback was the highest-rated recruit in Minnesota's 2021 class.

u.s. district court minnesota - federal court minneapolis

Limits on in-person court activity extended for 45 days

The statewide order extends current limitations through March 15.

D'Angelo Russell / Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves need more from D'Angelo Russell

The Wolves haven't gotten what they expected since making a blockbuster trade.

oct. 20 snow crash

Spinouts, crashes still happening after snow leaves MN roads a mess

The snow storm caused at least 208 crashes this weekend.

1024px-Crock_pot

For The Week: Food tips and tricks to get you through the next 7 days

BMTN's food writer Lindsay Guentzel makes life easier for Minnesotans.

snow, plow

Here's how much snow fell in Saturday's storm in Minnesota

MSP Airport had the highest total as of 7 a.m. Sunday with 5.3 inches.

Related