Thanks in large part to the efforts of this trio of lobbyists for local governments, the Legislature finally passed long-overdue reform to its troubled Local Government Aid (LGA) program, which helps fund everything from road repairs to police and parks in communities around Minnesota. With help from legislative staffers, the three lobbyists were able to succeed where others have failed by pushing a new set of factors for calculating each city’s LGA. The revised formula takes into account a new set of factors to assess the needs of each city and calculate how much aid is necessary. In passing the bill, lawmakers also increased the total amount of LGA being distributed, which will bring more assistance to cities in rural parts of Minnesota.
The proposal was essentially a retooling of the plan outlined in Gov. Mark Dayton’s January budget, though Dayton’s plan offered more money to the suburbs, a move that did not play well statewide. Carlson, Nauman and Flaherty worked hard to update their members with the status of the proposal throughout the session, and address any concerns that arose along the way. Their hard work in helping pass the bill will ease long-standing pressure to improve LGA funding.
Gary Carlson worked on the legislation on behalf of the League of Minnesota Cities, an independent organization that advocates for more than 80 cities across the state. Carlson works closely with the Legislature on a variety of issues each year, specializing in aid to cities, pensions and retirement, the property tax system and public finance. Before joining the League in 1991, he worked in the government relations practice at the law firm of Briggs and Morgan.
Patricia Nauman is the executive director of Metro Cities, a position she’s held since 2009. She previously worked as a committee administrator for the Senate for more than nine years, splitting that time between the K-12 and Taxes Committees. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the College of St. Catherine’s. She’s known for staying calm in hectic situations as well as her work ethic and professionalism.
Tim Flaherty lobbies for the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities at the Capitol. An attorney and shareholder for Flaherty and Hood, he runs the firm’s government relations practice, specializing in issues of taxation, energy, land use and economic development. Before Flaherty and Hood, he was a partner with Briggs and Morgan, and prior to that held positions with the Oregon Legislature and the City of Minneapolis. Flaherty graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1971, and earned his law degree from the Northwestern School of Law at Portland’s Lewis and Clark University in 1976.