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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: 2018-03-21
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Legislative Update

Legislative Update- March 21, 2018


Dear Neighbors,

Our first committee deadline for bills to be heard is March 22nd.  Here’s an update on some legislation I am working on this session, in addition to some timely news and events:

Property Tax Refund Reminder

As we approach the end of the 2018 tax season, I wanted to send a friendly reminder about the Renter’s Property Tax and Homestead Credit Refund. To see if you qualify, please take a look at the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s Instruction Guide. The forms can be accessed here and the filing deadline is August 15, 2018.

The Minnesota Department of Revenue also has information available on filing for free on their website.  If you are curious to know if you qualify for free electronic filing products, or would like assistance from a free tax preparation site, visit this page.

East Metro 3M Public Meetings

As a condition of the settlement between Minnesota and the 3M Company last month, 3M established an $850 million grant to address two priorities in the east metro area: safe drinking water, and groundwater sustainability, and restoring natural resources.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources invite the public to two upcoming informational meetings. MPCA and DNR staff will give an overview of the recent settlement with 3M, and explain the process by which potential water quality and natural resource projects will be prioritized and selected for funding.

The meetings will be held:

March 29

6:00-8:00 p.m.
Oak-Land Middle School
820 Manning Ave N., Lake Elmo

April 3

6:00-8:00 p.m.
Park High School
8040 80th St. S., Cottage Grove

You can also follow the 3M settlement webpage to stay up to date with recent developments.

Bills to Reduce Human Trafficking

Two bills I’m championing this year are related to combating human trafficking via increased prostitution patronage penalties. As we’ve seen all too many times in the media, the east metro has been home to some of the highest human trafficking sting operations in the state. The first of my two bills would mandate vehicle forfeiture for anyone convicted of committing or facilitating in illegal prostitution patronage. The second bill enhances prostitution solicitation offenses from gross misdemeanors to felonies and increases fines and community service time after repeated offenses.

Both bills have bipartisan support and I’ve been working with my Republican colleagues to get them heard in committee.

We Believe Rally

Women’s Advocates will be at the #WeBelieve rally against domestic violence in the Capitol Rotunda at 11am on Wednesday, March 28th.

Along with the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, metro area shelters will be present with local domestic violence intervention organizations.

I am planning on attending and hope you can too!

March for Our Lives

On this Saturday morning, March 24th, Minnesota students and advocates are marching in Saint Paul from Harriet Island to the State Capitol to demand action on gun violence prevention from legislative leaders. This coordinated effort stems from a student rally organized in Washington DC, and has spread to communities across the country. You can learn more details of the event here.

This event is especially timely given yesterday’s missed opportunity for Republican leadership take up two important gun violence prevention bills that were tabled 19 days ago in the House Public Safety Committee. You can read my official statement here.

Even if the possibility of advancing of any gun violence prevention legislation has ended for the year on the state level, the momentum continues to build nationally; I hope you and your family and friends can join in on Saturday to make your voices heard.

Please keep in touch on any issue important to you and your family. I appreciate your input and ideas.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

JoAnn Ward

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