Governor Mark Dayton
Lt. Gov Tina Smith
Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka
February 3, 2017
Strong communities need strong local control. As local elected officials, we are the government closest to the people. With that proximity comes the responsibility to pass legislation that reflects the will of our voters. Without local control we cannot effectively serve our communities. That is why we are writing to express our concern over House File 600 and Senate File 580, which propose to take away local control on a number of issues vital to working families in our communities.
We have deep respect for the work our state lawmakers do each year to make difficult decisions about how to run our great state; and we appreciate the challenges you face in setting minimum statewide standards. To build on your work, we believe that it is essential for local governments to maintain our received power to address the needs of our individual respective communities.
Minnesotans across the State share many values, but our communities each have a unique set of needs. We, as local government officials, are most in touch with what our local regions need to thrive. When the state puts forward legislation that would eliminate our ability to rule on issues of local importance, it acts against the interest of local voters who elected us to legislate according to their values.
We understand that HF600/SF580 would take away local government’s ability to build on state minimum standards for wages, paid and unpaid leave, scheduling, and other workplace policies. We believe that this sweeping ban would have profound consequences on our ability to make the best decisions for our communities. This infringement on local control is harmful to our democracy at all levels of government and undermines the essential health of our state. A “one-size fits all” approach to governing is not best for our communities, and it is not right for Minnesota.
We urge you to consider these impacts and vote no on any bill that would strip cities or counties of their local control, starting with House File 600 and Senate File 580.
Thank you for your consideration,
Suzie Nakasian on behalf of the MN DMO Board
Council Member, Northfield
Minnesota Chapter Chair
Democratic Municipal Officials