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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: 2017-11-09
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Legislative Update

Legislative Update from Rep. Abigail Whelan (11.09.17)


Dear Neighbor,

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

Happy Veterans Day

I first wanted to take a moment to thank all of our veterans and active military who have served our nation. As we get set to celebrate Veterans Day this weekend, I hope you will join me in honoring the brave men and women who protect our freedoms, liberties and shared American values.

I also want to recognize the families and loved ones of our military, who play a huge role in supporting our veterans and also sacrifice so much for our nation. One of my favorite quotes from President Reagan fits well here: "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same."

Finally if you have a minute I encourage you to watch the following video from the Rochester Symphony Orchestra, a beautiful tribute to veterans, and say a prayer for all our current servicemen and women: https://vimeo.com/53692193

God bless, and Happy Veterans Day!

MSFA Hearing

At the Capitol recently, the State Government Finance Committee held a second hearing regarding the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) and the security firm they hired for U.S. Bank Stadium.

As you may recall, it was revealed earlier this fall that Monterrey Security was awarded a substantial contract in spite of a history of serious problems. They failed to give proper background checks to employees and had troubled billing practices with the state.

I believe the safety and security of Minnesotans (whether they are attending football games, concerts or other events) is a primary function of government, and it is important we work to ensure that all Minnesotans are safe at public events. Holding these hearings is helping lawmakers fully understand why this lapse happened, and we are working to ensure that it never happens again. It also highlights how important the Republican-led MSFA reform (authored by Chair Sarah Anderson) was this session.

We will continue to advocate for increased accountability and oversight in state government.

Supporting Adoption

This week, I signed onto a letter to members of the Minnesota Congressional Delegation, encouraging them to fight for the Adoption Tax Credit as they work to pass a comprehensive tax reform bill in Washington D.C.

Under the current version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, that credit has been removed. As a strong supporter of life, I am also a strong supporter of adoption. The Adoption Tax Credit allows families to claim up to $13,570 when they adopt a child, helping to ease the financial strain of an often expensive adoption process that can cost tens of thousands of dollars. This credit is important to help more children in need be adopted and for parents to open their hearts to a child, offering a stable and loving home. It can also be the difference financially for a family considering adoption.

I am glad to see that our leaders in Congress are working to provide meaningful tax relief to Minnesotans, and I hope the final version of tax reform will keep the Adoption Tax Credit, supporting life, children and families.

Lawsuit Update

This week, the Legislature filed a response to Governor Dayton’s motion to stay enforcement of the Ramsey District Court ruling that voided the line-item veto and restored funding to the Legislature. To date, MMB has not recognized that ruling and has not been appropriating money to the House and Senate.

Because of the line item veto and MMB’s failure to recognize the ruling of the lower court, the Legislature is without ongoing appropriations and both the House and Senate have been operating on carry forward funds since the beginning of October. As a result, the Senate is set to run out of money by the beginning of December and the House on February 1.

Legislative leaders will be considering using some funds from the Legislative Coordinating Committee, but the Legislature is still in a dire state. Staff could be furloughed soon, an equal branch of government would be essentially eliminated, and the people’s voice would be silenced at the Capitol.

I will keep you updated.

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

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!

Toys for Joy

Anoka City Hall and the Ramsey Municipal Center are drop-off locations for Toys for Joy. They are collecting new and unwrapped toys and gifts for children in Anoka County throughout the holiday season.

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

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.

For Ramsey residents, mark your calendars for Tuesday, December 5 at the Ramsey Municipal Center. The event starts at 6:00 pm and there will be carols, cookies, pictures with Santa and more. Find out more here.

***

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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