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State Representative Abigail Whelan

439 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-1729

For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522

Posted: 2017-10-27
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Legislative Update

Legislative Update from Rep. Abigail Whelan (10.27.17)


Dear Neighbor,

Here is an update with the latest news from our Capitol and around the community.

ARC Visit

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Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to meet with members of ARC who live in our district and talk about important issues that affect the disability community. Transportation, support of special education, and funding were among the topics we discussed.

Thank you for having me and other local elected officials!

Representative Henry Archibong Visit to MN and Anoka-Hennepin Technical College Tour

Last week I was privileged to help coordinate several meetings for Representative Henry Archibong, a medical doctor and member of the Nigerian Federal House of Representatives. Representative Archibong was in Minnesota for one week, specifically to learn more about how government works here and get policy ideas for things he could work on in Nigeria. We (my colleagues and I) viewed this as an opportunity to learn from him as well, for as he said in one of our meetings, the world is becoming a "global village."

Notably while here, Representative Archibong was able to tour Anoka-Hennepin Technical College, meet with staff from the Minnesota Department of Health, share with some staff and members of the Legislature on religious liberties from a Nigerian perspective, and much more.

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Huge thank you to President Hansen and all the staff at Anoka-Hennepin Technical College for making time to provide such an excellent tour of their facilities. We both learned quickly that while many of the challenges we face are quite distinct -for example, he had a meeting with the Chair of our Agriculture Committee, and we know that our climates present very different challenges!- we also face many similar challenges as well.

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Shown here at a meet-and-greet hosted by the Minnesota Legislative Prayer Caucus, Rep. Archibong is presenting on Religious Liberty and the challenges Nigeria faces with this issue.It was a sobering reminder of how precious our religious freedoms are, and that we must continue to work to protect this freedom. (NOTE: The MN Legislative Prayer Caucus is a non-partisan group seeking to protect and promote religious liberty.)

Additionally, at one event we attended, Representative Archibong was shocked to learn that Human Trafficking occurs here in Minnesota (and the U.S. in general). Yet as mentioned, we face many similar challenges-namely, the human condition. All humans have the capacity for good or evil, and sadly, there are people world-wide (Minnesota and Nigeria not exempt) willing to purchase and enslave other individuals for sex or forced labor. We can pass laws to create larger penalties for criminals and create public awareness campaigns, but at the end of the day passing a law is only one aspect of creating change. We cannot ensure that passing a law will change how people react and behave, we can only hope it does.

I invite you to join with me and Representative Archibong in combating Human Trafficking. This can be anything from volunteering at a local non-profit that helps victims, to advocating for change by becoming involved politically. I would encourage you to check out resources available through the Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force here.

Real ID Update

Recently, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that Minnesota has been granted an extended grace period for Real ID through October of next year. What that means is state-issued identification can continue to be used to board an airplane, visit a military base or enter a federal building.

Furthermore, being granted the Real ID extension also highlights the ongoing problems with the new Minnesota Licensing and Registration System (MNLARS). Since transitioning to the new MNLARS program earlier this year, many Minnesotans have been left frustrated trying to renew their license or tabs. Whether or not you agree with the new Real ID law, getting this system to work properly is critical to ensure that implementation can move forward as scheduled.

On that note, if you have run into any issues with the MNLARS system and need assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact my office. I am here to serve you!

High School Page Program

If you know a high school junior interested in politics and state government, encourage them to apply for the week-long House High School Page Program!

It’s a unique experience that allows students to take part in the legislative process, meet with legislators and get first-hand insight into the workings of state government. All applications are due by December 1, 2017. Learn more about the program and how to apply here.

Around the Community

Coffee with a Cop

You can join the Anoka Police Department for a cup of coffee on November 8 from 5:00-7:00 pm at Caribou Coffee (101 West Main Street, Anoka). It’s your chance to ask questions, share input or just meet the men and women who protect our city. You can find out more information here.

Election Day

Don’t forget that election day in November 7. You can get information on your polling place, sample ballots and more on the Secretary of State’s website here.

Human Trafficking Event in Anoka

On November 16 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Anoka-Hennepin School District Educational Service Center (2727 N. Ferry Street), Anoka County is putting on an End Exploitation event. The focus is on how to spot and stop exploitation and trafficking of our youth. This is an important issue, and I would encourage people to attend!

Ramsey Community Events

From art in the park to yoga classes, the community of Ramsey Parks and Recreation Department puts on a number of fun and interesting events for citizens of all ages. See the full calendar of upcoming events through the rest of the year here.

2017 Ramsey Photo Contest

Love living in Ramsey? Highlight why in the 2017 Ramsey Photo Contest! Your submission highlighting nature, parks and trails, industry and commerce, or everyday life in Ramsey is due by Tuesday, January 2. The grand prize winner will receive $100! Learn more about the contest rules and how to submit your winning photo here.

Annual Christmas Tree Lighting

While Halloween is still a few days away, it’s not too early to mark your calendars for the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Anoka City Hall River Plaza! It will take place Saturday, December 2 with events starting at 3:00 pm. See a full list of all the events happening here.

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Please know my office is available should you need assistance on a matter of state government. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-1729 or via email at rep.abigail.whelan@house.mn. I also welcome your input and ideas on legislation and matters moving through the Minnesota House. I am here to serve you and it is a joy! Thank you for the honor and privilege of being your state representative.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Abigail

 

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