Chamber to host legislators for luncheon on Friday

Published 9:55 am Wednesday, April 11, 2012

State legislators from the Austin area will speak on current topics like education reform and state budget and taxes Friday at the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Luncheon.

The event offers Austin residents an opportunity to hear legislators’ opinions on a number of key topics, and is geared toward being an informational service to guests rather than a debate between candidates.

“Educate the voters on some of the key issues going on and listen to what’s being said,” Jeff Baldus said of the luncheon’s purpose. Baldus is member relations and major events coordinator with the Chamber. “Get informed. That’s the key.”

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Other topics include state bonding, health insurance exchange and the proposal for a new Vikings stadium.

The Chamber expects Rep. Rich Murray, R-Albert Lea; Rep. Jeanne Poppe, DFL-Austin; Sen. Dan Sparks, DFL-Austin; and Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca to attend.

Friday’s luncheon won’t be the first time the Chamber has put on such an event.

“We usually have one every year,” Baldus said. Last year’s was a great turnout, and local candidates were involved, he added.

Guests are encouraged to register by today. A count on attendance helps the Chamber arrange for lunch preparations, Baldus said. He expects 50 people or more.

The Legislative Luncheon will take place on Friday, April 13 at the Eagles Club, 107 11th St. NE in Austin. Check-in and lunch start at noon, with the program beginning at 12:15 p.m. and running until 1:30 p.m.

The $10 attendance cost includes a beverage and lunch. Eagles Kitchen Manager Lisa Legried said guests can expect a hot beef sandwich, mashed potatoes, gravy and coleslaw. Registration is online at

Legislative Luncheon key topics

—State budget and taxes
—Education reform
—Baseload energy
—State bonding
—Health insurance exchange
—Vikings stadium