LIUNA Minnesota and North Dakota Announces 2021 Legislative Priorities

Feb 2 2021

Today, LIUNA Minnesota, which represents more than 12,000 professional construction laborers, publicly announced their legislative priorities for the 2021 Legislative Session.

“These priorities are shaped by the men and women of LIUNA, who live and work throughout Minnesota’s communities and represent a diversity of professional skills, personal beliefs, racial backgrounds and values,” said Joel Smith, President and Business Manager. “Our members are committed to making sure the Legislature understands that Minnesota’s crumbling and inadequate infrastructure is holding too many communities back, especially across Greater Minnesota and in BIPOC communities. We are united to help create living wage jobs while rebuilding our communities and the economy to truly benefit all Minnesotans.” 

Minnesota’s infrastructure union will direct its efforts with the Legislature to achieve:

INFRASTRUCTURE JOBS AND INVESTMENTS IN LOCAL COMMUNITIES
The Legislature should pass a capital investment bill and local government aid package that creates high-quality transportation, water and building construction jobs. In 2020, local communities identified more than $5 billion in needed improvements throughout the state. Inadequate and unequal investments in public infrastructure across Greater Minnesota and in BIPOC communities hurts all of us.

A PROSPEROUS CLEAN ENERGY FUTURE
Minnesota's energy sector has provided affordable, reliable service and family-supporting jobs to generations of Minnesotans. We need to tackle transmission congestion while giving regulators and utilities the tools to keep service reliable, rates low, and jobs here at home. The Legislature should pass bipartisan legislation that puts the state on a path to reduce carbon emissions, protects jobs and helps us build a clean energy economy. Lawmakers should support a thoughtful transition from a fossil fuel-based energy production model to a clean energy model that ensures workers have access to jobs with similar good union wages and benefits.

SAFE ROADS AND BRIDGES AND TRANSIT THAT WORKS FOR EVERYONE
Our leaders have a duty to make our roads and bridges safer, and build transit that works for everyone. Since 2008, state leaders have failed to get the job done. The Legislature should support increases in dedicated transportation infrastructure funding. 

SAFE WATER, CLEAN ENVIRONMENT
Across Minnesota, too many communities struggle to provide clean drinking water and maintain aging sewer systems. The Legislature should increase dedicated funding and prioritize investments in critical drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

A FAIR BUDGET FOR MINNESOTA’S WORKING PEOPLE
Governor Walz’s COVID-19 Recovery Budget is a fair budget for Minnesota’s working people. It deserves the Legislature’s support. Lawmakers should support needed relief for workers and communities who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic while making large corporations and the richest one percent pay their fair share in taxes.

RESPONSIBLE SOLUTIONS TO MINNESOTA’S HOUSING CRISIS
Minnesota is facing both a shortage of affordable housing and a wage theft epidemic in the residential construction industry. As our leaders focus on expanding supply, we need to make sure that construction workers are paid and treated fairly. The Legislature should require payment of prevailing wages and the use of responsible contractors on all state-supported housing projects.

SAFE, LIVING WAGE JOBS FOR A SKILLED CONSTRUCTION WORKFORCE
The Legislature should support diversity and inclusion in the construction industry and workforce training through training and career opportunities for women and people of color through Registered Apprenticeship programs. The Legislature should also expand prevailing wage requirements and support stronger enforcement on all publicly funded construction projects.