Brooklyn Park approves legislative platform

On Jan. 22 the Brooklyn Park City Council approved a legislative platform for the current legislative session.

The four-page document highlights issues the city considers important for entities such as the state and federal governments to address. It helps guide the lobbying activities of staff and serves as a reference for legislators at the state capitol.

Here are some of the highlights:

Transportation — The platform calls the completion of Highway 610 “critical to economic growth” in the northwest suburbs. It also supports funding for the Metropolitan Council to finalize the cost estimate and develop a potential project schedule for the proposed Bottineau Transitway light rail line.

Housing and neighborhood stability — The city would like to see continued programing, funding and finance tools for cities to help pay costs of foreclosure recovery. It also favors legislation that promotes and preserves existing market-rate affordable housing stock and supports an expedited process to address nuisance properties.

Public safety — Brooklyn Park seeks civil immunity for cities and fire departments that donate used public safety equipment to other government entities. In addition, it promotes enhancement of the court system to ensure swift action in the criminal justice system.

Energy, environment and recreation — The city council would like state Legacy Amendment funding made available to cities. It is currently available to regional, county and state governments, but not cities.

Jobs and economic development — Brooklyn Park wants to see provisions of the jobs bill extended so more projects can start. It supports creation of tax incentives and credits to expand the life science industry.

Local government finance — The city says legislation that modifies the fiscal disparities program should only be considered within a framework of comprehensive reform to Minnesota’s property tax, aids and credits system.

Before approving the document, the city council also asked staff to add a section about the Mississippi River that states the city encourages lawmakers to include local input on decisions prior to making decisions.

Councilmember Elizabeth Knight also asked staff to more clearly delineate the connections between the city’s core values and its legislative stances on issues.

Councilmember John Jordan said he disapproved of the proposed Bottineau light rail line but called himself a “realist” and said he understands who’s in charge of the governor’s office and state legislature.

The council approved the platform unanimously.

Contact Jonathan Young at [email protected]