Federal priorities per League of Minnesota Cities

I also personally support these 6 items!

Support Marketplace Fairness

We ask Congress to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act to place brick-and-mortar community businesses on a level playing field with online retailers and afford consumers more choice through fair competition. Allowing state and local governments the flexibility to collect the taxes already owed to them on remote online purchases removes an unfair disadvantage for local businesses, while helping close budget gaps.

Invest in Local Transportation Priorities

We ask Congress to authorize a new, long-term federal surface transportation program that recognizes the central role of transportation to local economies and includes local voices in planning and project selection. With a strong federal partnership, cities can continue transportation and infrastructure investments that ensure everyone has access to education, training and employment. The program must provide cities a greater role in decision-making for transportation projects to meet community goals and recognize the role of metropolitan economies to the nation’s economic wellbeing and competitiveness. The overall transportation system must be made more efficient, including upgrades to older systems and the addition of new modes like light rail and bus rapid transit.

Protect Municipal Bonds

We oppose any attempt to eliminate or limit the traditional tax exemption for municipal bonds, whether as a part of a deficit reduction plan, a push for comprehensive tax reform or as an offset for new spending. While cities support the need to address the nation’s budget deficit, in addition to increasing taxes, the federal government could raise revenue by expanding what is subject to being taxed (broadening the base).

Fix the Nation’s Broken Immigration System

Minnesota cites call on Congress and the Administration to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill that will fix the nation’s broken immigration system that hurts families, communities and our economy. For far too long our immigration system has torn apart families, allowed cultural misunderstandings to threaten our communities and held back economic growth by keeping a substantial population from being able to fully participate. Cities need a plan for comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship, strong border enforcement and support for cities and towns to integrate immigrants into their communities and allow them to make both cultural and economic contributions to the nation.

Strengthen the Nation’s Education Pipeline

Cities seek to partner with the Department of Education to strengthen the education pipeline from early childhood through improved postsecondary success. That means increasing the visibility, understanding and appreciation of the role that cities can play in leading educational change by advancing strong early childhood opportunities, citywide high-quality afterschool programs and strategies to improve postsecondary success rates. We need Congress to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which includes important education programs such as Title I, so that states and localities will have the tools they need to improve their local education systems.

Support Community Resilience

As extreme weather events become more common, local governments in all geographic and climatic regions are looking for resources to assist them in anticipating, preparing for and adapting to these events. We ask Congress and the Administration to help local governments conduct vulnerability assessments, and develop and implement adaptation and resilience action plans. This includes passing the STRONG Act (Strengthening the Resiliency of our Nation on the Ground). Cities need stronger federal support to leverage resources most effectively, learn from and act on the latest information available on climate change and find ways to partner with regional and state agencies that encourage smart planning.

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