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State Representative JoAnn Ward

231 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-7807

For more information contact: Gina Vega 651-296-5526

Posted: 2018-02-21
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Legislative Update

Legislative Update- February 21, 2018


Dear Neighbors,

Yesterday was the first day of the 2018 Legislative Session in St. Paul. I am excited to continue my work on your behalf and will advocate for legislation that addresses our state’s challenges.

Here’s a preview of a few items I’ll be working on during these fast paced, short weeks at the State Capitol:

MNLARS

I’ve heard from many in our community about the frustrations with the new Minnesota Licensing and Registration System.  This has been a statewide issue, and I’m encouraged to hear that over 100 deputy registrars, auto dealers, financial institutions, legislators, and other stakeholders, have been working with state IT staff to develop a comprehensive roadmap to fix MNLARS. I’m committed to working with Minnesota IT services, the Department of Public Safety and my colleagues to address the system’s shortcomings and strengthen the system for the future.

Liability Relief for Certified Salt Applicators and Waterway Protection

Currently landscape professionals and others perform snow and ice removal during winter months using anti-slip/ de-icing products to protect the public from injury.

Over-application of chloride-based products is detrimental to our precious waters, but applicators are often pressured to apply more product than necessary or ideal to meet demands from their clients to minimize slips & falls on the owners’ property. 

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency currently provides training for salt applicators to learn best practices to significantly reduce the use of chlorides while maintaining safety. There is proposed legislation I support that connects anti-slip/anti-ice application best management practices to liability protections for salt professionals and their clients—the small business owners across the State of Minnesota—to avoid uncontrollable circumstances and unexpected litigation costs while protecting the public’s safety and the health of Minnesota’s waterways.

The bill awaits a hearing in the Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

Civility Caucus Activities

Over the years during my time at the Legislature, I’ve advocated for and was successful in the creation of the Civility Caucus, which was officially formed in 2017 and has had 40 legislators participating in activities. Additionally, a sub-group of more than 10 legislators has been actively involved in planning the 2018 professional development activities.

The 2018 program has three components, all held at the State Capitol:

-a bipartisan, bicameral lunch held today to lay a foundation for a productive session and kick-off the other events

-every-other week lunches with brief activities to foster relationship building and the exchange of ideas

-training on Negotiation and Collaboration by the Mitchell Hamline School of Law on March 13th

The program’s goal is to deliver professional development tools that are commonly available to others in the workplace, but not to legislators. The purpose is to continuously improve the ability to serve Minnesotans by opening channels of communication, building relationships and increasing skills frequently used at the Capitol, such as negotiation and collaboration.

I look forward to the conversations and progress we can make together over the course of this legislative session. Only when we work together can we achieve more effective results across the board for all Minnesotans.

Please always feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or ideas on any legislative topic. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-7807 or by email atrep.joann.ward@house.mn.  I appreciate your input!

Sincerely,

JoAnn Ward    

 

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