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League of Minn. Cities honors Sen. Utke

Sen. Paul Utke

The League of Minnesota Cities has selected 32 state lawmakers, including Senator Paul Utke, of Park Rapids, as Legislators of Distinction for 2017. The honor recognizes legislators for specific actions that aided efforts of Minnesota cities during the past year's legislative session.

Legislators of Distinction are approved annually by the League's Board of Directors to recognize that in order to successfully serve shared communities, state and city officials must work together to meet the unique needs of rural, suburban and urban residents all across Minnesota.

To be eligible for the Legislator of Distinction honor, legislators must achieve one or more of the following criteria: be generally and reasonably accessible to League representatives, seek input on issues of importance to cities, listen to League concerns and be receptive to League-provided information on issues, sponsor and/or support League initiatives, speak out on behalf of the interest of cities, and/or work to demonstrate the importance of partnership between the state and cities.

Sen. Utke was the chief author of the 2017 workers' compensation advisory council (WCAC) bill that included the League-initiated legislation to address the consequences of the Eckdahl and Hartwig workers' compensation decisions by the Minnesota Supreme Court. Despite a floor amendment that jeopardized the bill, Senator Utke was able to resurrect the bill, which ultimately secured the passage of the original WCAC recommendations into law. He worked closely with League staff throughout the process.

Recipients of the recognition received a letter of appreciation and a certificate. Additionally, a copy of the Legislator of Distinction acknowledgement letter was sent to the mayor of each city in the district of each award winner. A complete list of all Legislators of Distinction can be found at " target="_blank">