ST. PAUL - The battle for greater Minnesota at the ballot box in November is already taking shape at the Capitol.

All 201 legislators are up for re-election, but the fight for control of the House and Senate in 2016 will largely center on a handful of rural districts. Republicans will seek to maintain control of the House, while Democrats are aiming to hold on to the Senate.

Those election-year pressures are already translating into a rural focus for the 2016 legislative session. Lawmakers have drawn up plans to tap into a hefty surplus to boost aid to local governments, address workforce housing shortages and increase broadband development grants in far-flung cities.

Tim Flaherty from the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities says it's a ripe time for rural Minnesota to make its case.