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Rochester Chamber Day at the Capitol

March 14, 2018 07:19 PM

(ABC 6 News)

"Sound up bus unloading" 

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Busloads of people arrived in St. Paul Wednesday morning ... a total of 160 locals represented the interest of the Rochester business community. 

"It's really about direct advocacy," explained Rochester Chamber Interim President Kathleen Harrington. 

Key issues during this year's "Day at the Capitol" included labor law reform, developing a strong workforce, bonding projects, and transportation. 

"Highway 14 is a key area for commerce to be able to move across Southern Minnesota and also for Commuters to be able to move across Minnesota as well," said Brian Carlson of Braun Intertec. 

Keeping the expansion of Highway 14 top of mind for lawmakers was one of the goals. In the mix were 14 high school students with their own cause. 

"A big thing that we want to do is focus on school safety and have better regulations in our schools. Not only that but mental health as well," said Mayo High School Junior Sihan Abdi. 

"I think both of those are talked about but nothing is ever really done. It's just more of a thing that is there. It's 'we support this' and then it becomes the bottom of the list of things that need to get done," said Mayo High School Freshman Hayden Clark.  

Participants learned how to lobby and toured across capitol grounds ... 

"Now all senators from both parties are in the building where we just came from." 
 
But most importantly, they made their voices heard during one on one meetings with 20 Senators and Representatives. 

"I am very confident that legislators listen. And our people will be mindful of their time, respectful of their time. And clear and concise with their messages," said Harrington. 

After all, the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce represents 1,500 members. 

"But that provides 100,000 jobs for our community," added Harrington. 

KAAL-TV

Copyright 2018 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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