The newest organization within the Minnesota Legislature held its first meeting last Thursday. Senators and Representatives from regional centers have formed a working group to examine common problems, and exchange information. The group was the brainchild of Duluth Senator Roger Reinert, who convened a similar group as a House member in 2009.
Five cities were invited to attend: Duluth, Mankato, Moorhead, Rochester and Saint Cloud.
“Regionalization is increasing,” said Senator Reinert. “We have cities with already overburdened systems trying to provide services to an expanding region, while funding sources continue to shrink. This is a situation that is common to these five cities. By getting together we can share ideas and best practices, help our communities to think strategically and form common legislative goals.”
The Regional Center Working Group was designed to help legislators exchange ideas and to help local governments obtain better outcomes from their policies and programs. Legislators will meet regularly during the legislative session.
Senator Reinert will convene the next working group meeting on Thursday, February 10th. The Mayor and City Manager from each of the five cities will also be invited to attend.
“We felt it was critical to have chief executives from each city in attendance. It’s important to hear from the people who are in the trenches,” said Senator Reinert.
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