For more information contact: Bennett Smith 651-296-6422
I hope winter has been treating you well. I’m disappointed the Vikings won’t be playing in the Super Bowl this weekend, but I’m glad to see so many families taking part in the many Super Bowl festivities that have been happening in our region! There’s a lot of fun to be had and more info can be found at this handy Super Bowl website.
Town Hall - February 17th
Before the legislative session begins, I’m hosting my first town hall meeting of 2018 with Senator Jim Carlson. This town hall will take place on Saturday, February 17, 2018 from 10:00am to noon, at Diamondhead Education Center in the Savage Conference Room (200 West Burnsville Parkway, Burnsville, MN 55337). This is an informal conversation about the upcoming legislative session and policy priorities for you and your family. Please join us!
WHAT: Joint Town Hall w/ Sen. Carlson
WHEN: Saturday, February 17th from 10AM-Noon
WHERE: Diamondhead Education Center in the Savage Conference Room; 200 West Burnsville Parkway, Burnsville, MN 55337
Super Bowl Air Security
I am a Legislative Squadron member of the Minnesota Wing Civil Air Patrol, and I wanted to share this interesting video that puts their involvement in the preparations for the Super Bowl on display. The news report link discusses the air intercepts for the Super Bowl. Thanks to them for all their work!
Legislative Session Starts February 20th
The Legislative Session is set to start off on February 20th. There’s a lot to be done too. Governor Dayton has already submitted his bonding proposal to update many of Minnesota’s water systems, public buildings, bridges and dams that are in need of repair. Here's a link to a map showing the projects Governor Dayton has proposed in his bonding bill. It’s important we pass a robust public infrastructure bill to get this work done while interest rates are still low.
There will also be significant time focused on conforming Minnesota taxes to the changes that were passed in the federal tax bill. Protecting hard working families in our community from any harm caused by the elimination of many deductions will be my number one priority. Minnesotans are going to see their taxes go up next April if nothing is done, and we have to move forward in a fair and equitable way that puts everyday Minnesotans first, not the ultra-rich and big corporations. I’m committed to ensuring hard working middle class families don’t get socked with tax increases next year.
Feel free to respond to this email to let me know what you’d like seen done this session. As your voice at the Capitol, my top priority is to make sure that the people in our community have a chance to succeed. That means everyone has access to a quality education, a job that rewards hard work with fair pay, and a secure retirement.
February is Black History Month
Governor Dayton proclaimed February to be Black History Month in Minnesota: “While African-American history should be studied throughout the year, Black History Month provides a special opportunity to focus on the unique experiences and contributions of African Americans in our state and our country. Throughout the month, Governor Dayton encourages Minnesotans to reflect on our state’s past, celebrate the contributions of African Americans in our communities, and work together to make our state a place of opportunity for all Minnesotans.”
Minnesota Joins Effort to Curb Traffic Deaths
While Minnesota’s Toward Zero Deaths initiative has reduced traffic deaths by 40% over the last 15 years, we’ve been selected by the National Governor’s Association to join their national effort to reduce traffic deaths. The joint effort will make roads safer through improving traffic analysis and communications.
You can learn more about Minnesota’s Toward Zero Deaths, the state’s cornerstone traffic safety program.
Free Tax Help Now Available
Tax filing season has started and Free Tax Preparations Centers are now open across Minnesota. You may qualify for free tax preparation help from IRS-certified volunteers at locations across Minnesota for your federal and state income tax returns. Qualified taxpayers are age 60 or older, have a disability, speak limited or no English, or have income less than $54,000 per year.
Most free tax preparation sites are open Feb. 1 - April 15. Visit the website to find free tax preparation sites near you.
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