The Minneapolis City Council wholeheartedly supported new labor laws but now lacks the resources to implement those laws ("Minneapolis lacks funds to fully enforce new labor laws," Nov 21).
The council appears to have supported these ideas without fully understanding the direct and unintended consequences they would have on the city budget, small businesses and, most importantly, the taxpayer.
This lack of due diligence has now caused great angst to city officials and taxpayers. A possible remedy for this in the future would be implementing a fiscal scoring process assigning real costs to proposed ordinances, similar to the fiscal notes that are required for legislation at the state level.
Historically. these types of labor regulations have been implemented at the state level to ensure a consistent and competitive marketplace. We believe that it is critical for the appropriate level of government to enact and enforce such legislation. Last spring the Legislature passed statewide pre-emption barring these types of municipal regulations, but the measure was vetoed by Gov. Mark Dayton.
I joined the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce as its new president less than a year ago, coming to the marketplace with more than 17 years of chamber, economic and regional development experience. TwinWest, a regional chamber representing 10 communities in the western suburbs, understands that the ripple effects of workplace mandates reach far outside the communities in which they are implemented.
As a region, the No. 1 issue facing our employers is workforce — the ability to attract, retain and develop talent. Minnesota has had a long history of being successful with workforce attraction, but that strength is slowly eroding as the talent shortage becomes more pronounced.
Before moving back to Minnesota, I served as a chamber of commerce executive in Wisconsin, Iowa and Florida, three states that have thriving business climates. Both the business recruitment strategy and the talent attraction strategy for those states involve targeting places like Minnesota that have implemented onerous laws and regulations, essentially decreasing their overall competitiveness.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area is a regional marketplace. Goods and people move readily throughout the region without regard to municipal borders. The patchwork of regulations currently being crafted within individual cities will be harmful to businesses, consumers and citizens and will undermine our ability to compete successfully in the global marketplace. Patchwork ordinances create inequities for businesses in communities subject to regulations that don't exist for businesses in a neighboring community. Commerce and residents need to move seamlessly across political borders for a region to compete.
Strong businesses and vibrant communities are dependent upon each other. Elected officials must continue to understand and support the critical role that businesses play. TwinWest is committed to working closely with business, community, municipal and organizational leaders as well as policymakers to ensure that we continue to cultivate a competitive and prosperous region, and that lawmaking remains at the appropriate level.
Shannon Full is president, TwinWest Chamber of Commerce