• Member-benefits.jpg
  • Moorhead Area Day at the Capitol - Highlights and key moments

  • Moorhead Area Day at the Capitol - Highlights and key moments

    Moorhead Area Day at the Capitol - Highlights and key moments

    The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce (The Chamber) recently hosted over 30 business and community leaders as they traveled to the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul for The Chamber’s third annual Moorhead Area Day at the Capitol. This annual event provides representatives from the greater Moorhead area the opportunity to collectively advocate for key legislative priorities at the Minnesota Legislature. Premier Sponsors of the event were Eventide Senior Living Communities and Primacy Strategy Group.  

    This year’s two-day event consisted of meetings with a bi-partisan group of legislators and agency officials to expound on the unique needs of the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo (FMWF) community. The Chamber extends a special thanks to local Senator (Sen.) Rob Kupec and local Representative (Rep.) Jim Joy for making time to speak to and have dinner with the group. Many discussions were centered around business mandates, comprehensive workforce solutions, competitive tax policies, Clay County and Moorhead flood mitigation infrastructure, amongst a variety of other topics.


    The Chamber’s President & CEO Shannon Full kicked off the event alongside representatives from Primacy Strategy Group and United Strategies, who gave an overview of the current Minnesota legislative landscape. This was followed by remarks from Rep. Mohamud Noor, the Chair of House Human Services Finance Committee. Rep. Noor spoke about his personal history, problem solving and several policy areas including the future of human services, human service delivery and how the state may better serve communities.  

    Next, Darielle Dannen, government relations director for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), spoke to the group. Dannen addressed Minnesota's rural job numbers and newly developing challenges in the workforce, and she answered questions from the attendees regarding border community challenges, the new Paid Family and Medical Leave program, rural workforce investment and DEED’s vision for regional workforce solutions.  

    Doug Loon, president and CEO of the Minnesota Chamber, presented on the business climate in Minnesota. He discussed concerns over Minnesota’s extreme tax rates, red tape and regulations, and Paid Medical and Family Leave policy. Doug also highlighted the Minnesota Chamber’s various policy priorities for the session. 

    Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson from East Grand Forks, who also represents a portion of Clay County, spoke to the challenges and opportunities facing Minnesota this session. These ranged from structural deficits and disagreements about bonding, to visiting with many greater Minnesota groups so far this session. The Moorhead area delegation discussed several priorities with Sen. Johnson, including business mandates, capital investment in flood mitigation and the overall State budget. 

    Rep. Pat Garofalo of Farmington followed by taking a light look at the session. He discussed some of the bipartisan work that is ongoing in the legislature, noting that there are still issues of broad agreement. Attendees pressed Rep. Garofalo on topics of energy, the State budget, and Paid Family and Medical Leave. 

    Rep. Greg Davids and Rep. Dean Urdahl jointly addressed attendees, highlighting their bipartisan efforts in securing last year’s bonding bill that funded the Dilworth Fire Station and Weld Hall at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Together, they underscored the value of the long-term investments made through bonding and how the investments made today are a path forward for long-term improvements across Minnesota. Dilworth Mayor Chad Olson and Moorhead Mayor Shelly Carlson expressed their gratitude for funding of these key investments and asked for their support this year to fully fund the remainder of flood mitigation in the region. 

    Rep. Jim Joy of District 4B, which includes a significant portion of Clay County, discussed many of the local issues facing our border community and the implications on the entire FMWF area. He discussed, as a small business owner, the tax differences and impacts between his location in Minnesota and his competitors in North Dakota, and how he is fighting to help bring more parity across FMWF. Rep. Joy also spoke about the work he is doing to support local projects, such as the Moorhead flood mitigation efforts. 

    The first day's meetings wrapped up with comments from Paul Marquart, Minnesota Department of Revenue commissioner and former Clay County Representative. The Commissioner’s remarks focused on the tax economy as compared to surrounding states as he focused on the services and support that Minnesota provides. He also answered questions about Moorhead's flood mitigation efforts, competitiveness between North Dakota and Minnesota, and the capital investments that were made earlier in the biennium.  

    The evening ended with a social and dinner at Holman’s Table in St. Paul, where many legislators joined the group and visited about the issues facing Minnesota businesses and communities.


    The final day began with remarks from Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Richard Carlbom. Carlbom answered questions regarding business mandates, capital investments and workforce solutions. Mayor Carlson and Clay County Commissioner Jenny Mongeau jointly discussed the importance of funding the remaining Minnesota portion of flood mitigation efforts in the region, sharing that this investment is a necessity rather than a nicety due to the protection it will provide. 

    Sen. Jordan Rasmusson of Fergus Falls joined and spoke about upcoming and past capital investments, the growing challenges of rural healthcare and the new requirements being placed on businesses. Sen. Rasmusson also provided an update on the ongoing negotiations on several pieces of major legislation and answered questions regarding healthcare, Moorhead projects and the key role of the northwestern region of the state.  

    Sen. Rob Kupec of District 4, representing the Clay County area, spoke last and received a wide range of questions from participants on everything from the State Pharmacy Board, public option, ongoing implementation of paid family and medical leave, workforce policy and other business-related topics. Again, leaders underscored the importance of flood mitigation, thanking the Senator for introducing a bill to fund a portion of it.  

    State advocacy is critical to the growth and prosperity of the FMWF community and greater region. The Chamber’s Moorhead Area Day at the Capitol serves as a platform for meaningful discussion, strategic meetings and advocacy on key issues that are vital to regional development. The Chamber was proud to work alongside Primacy Strategy Group and United Strategies to execute this important event. If you are interested in attending advocacy events in the future, such as the D.C. Fly-In, Moorhead Area Day at the Capitol or North Dakota Day at the Capitol, please reach out to Katherine Grindberg at kgrindberg@fmwfchamber.com for more information.   

    Leave a Comment
    * Required field