Advocacy Toolkit: Local Decision-Making Authority

Background
The League of Minnesota Cities has drafted a model resolution for city councils concerned about the proliferation of 2017 legislative initiatives aimed at restricting local decision-making authority. This legislation undermines Minnesota’s robust city-state partnership.

2017 Proposed legislation
A significant number of bills were moving through the state House and Senate during the 2017 legislative session that interfered with local decision-making authority in several policy areas. Many of these bills remain viable and could be acted upon in the 2018 session, which will begin on Feb. 20.

Proposed legislation in 2017, for example, would have had the effect of:

  • Constraining local law enforcement authority.
  • Restricting a city’s ability to set local ordinances.
  • Allowing certain businesses unfettered access to public rights of way while eliminating a city’s ability to manage them.
  • Restricting a city’s ability to use allowed fee structures.
  • Reducing local government aid (LGA) based on factors with no relation to the statutory LGA formula.
  • Restricting a city’s ability to study a light rail transit project.

View list of 2017 bills restricting local control (pdf)
View letter to legislators regarding bills restricting local authority (pdf)

What can I as a city official do to help?

PASS a resolution and send it to your legislators. (See link to model resolution at right under Advocacy Tools.)
Note: Send a copy of the resolution to the League at liaison@lmc.org so we can keep track of how many cities have passed the resolution.

The resolution supports local decision-making authority and opposes legislation that removes the ability for local elected officials to respond to the needs of their businesses and constituents. It can be customized for individual cities and should be shared with local legislators upon adoption. (See list and map of cities that have passed the resolution at right.)

Please contact the League at liaison@lmc.org to let us know that you've passed a resolution or talked to your legislator (or if we can help you with your advocacy efforts).