St. Paul, MN – The Citizens League announced this week that it will be presenting State Representative Melissa Hortman (DFL-Coon Rapids/Brooklyn Park) with an award for her work on the bi-partisan 2020 Caucus.
The 2020 Caucus was founded last spring by Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL) and Sen. Geoff Michel (GOP) to address the challenges and needs that will face Minnesotans 15 years from now. Hortman, who is serving her first term in the State Legislature, is a charter member of the group of 22 Representatives and Senators.
"Instead of just looking at state issues in terms of two-year budget cycles, our group focuses on preparing for the challenges of the future," said Hortman. "Issues such as health care, education, job growth and transportation require a long-term perspective."
The 2020 Caucus was formed in conjunction with the Citizens League. The group has recently made presentations to the Humphrey Institute with former Congressman Tim Penny, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota, several Chambers of Commerce and the Minnesota Business Partnership.
The group first set out to study the population trends in the state with the help of state demographer Tom Gillaspy. The most significant development to affect Minnesota in coming years will be the aging of the baby boomer generation. By 2020, senior citizens will outnumber schoolchildren for the first time in the state's history, and the worker-to-retiree ration will reach 3:2.
"Plans for changes such as this need to be made now," said Hortman. "It is our responsibility as elected officials to not only make decisions that affect our state now, but to keep an eye to the future so we can be prepared."
The 2020 Caucus is currently planning a presentation for top state business leaders. The Caucus will begin setting its legislative agenda for the 2006 session in the coming months.
Hortman and other members of the 2020 Caucus will be receiving their award at the Citizens League 2005 Annual Meeting on Monday, October 10, in Minneapolis.