What do recreational marijuana, paid family leave, sports team license plates and universal school meals have in common? They are all laws that passed during the jam-packed 2023 Minnesota legislative session. Now with the 2024 session just around the corner, that may well have been just the beginning.

Last year was truly a legislative session like no other in Minnesota. New laws and regulations, along with record government spending, left even the most seasoned lobbyists and public affairs experts scrambling to keep up. There were fights on numerous fronts, and from the public affairs standpoint, many local leaders, associations, and grassroot and grasstop advocates were feeling spread thin – fighting and championing numerous policy efforts that were advancing at record speed.

And now, we are just weeks away from the 2024 legislative session, when lawmakers will return for a shorter session that I expect to be just as hectic and busy as last year. I believe that DFL lawmakers will want to pass even more laws on their political priority agenda this spring, before heading into what is expected to be a contentious election year. Just a handful of targeted seats mean the difference between split government or continued one-party control of the legislature into the next biennium.

So what does the upcoming session and the dynamics at the Capitol mean for your organization or issue? It means you need to be preparing NOW for the start of next month’s session. If you have an issue you want to advance (or stop) next session, now is the time to get elements in place and set yourself up for success!

Last year, many entered into the fray too late in the game and found themselves struggling to build coalitions, connect with press on their priorities, or build momentum for a well-balanced, effective public affairs campaign.

At K2, we have meaningful experience navigating the legislature both from inside the halls of the Capitol, and from the outside influencing political outcomes. We help our clients navigate the legislature and create well-rounded campaigns that build momentum for your issues. Coalition building, growing public awareness, pushing your narrative in the media, and fostering positive relationships with lawmakers and stakeholders is critical to break through the noise and place political pressure on lawmakers.

With so many groups and issues competing for attention, it’s important to be smart with your time, resources and planning. Reach out to K2, and we can help you create and execute a meaningful public affairs plan that sets you apart and gets results.

– Chelsea Thompson