For more information contact: Leah Patton 651-296-9895
First, I would like to give a big thank you to everyone who visited me in Saint Paul this week! It’s so encouraging to meet folks from our district and have such good conversations about their legislative priorities. Please don't hesitate to contact my office if you would like to schedule a meeting at the Capitol or in the district.
I returned from maternity leave on March 21st, and I am excited to get back to work. It was great to get back into the swing of things here at the Capitol by meeting with everyone, and having my son Gideon meet some of you as well! Gideon was well-behaved and slept through most of the committee hearings.
Testifying in committee
Meeting Rep. Runbeck on the House Floor
Here are a few photos from the many constituent meetings this week:
Peter stopped by to discuss medical industry issues
Bob and Mike represented the Carpenter's Union legislative priorities
Abhirup and David shared their views on college campus issues
I’ve had several constituents contact me about REAL ID, and where we are in the process. The first step, which we plan to vote on soon, is to lift the ban from enacting any REAL ID measure that the legislature put on the Department of Public Safety in a bipartisan vote back in 2009.
Lifting this ban will allow the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to conduct research into how much the new IDs will cost, and how to best handle the logistics of getting these new IDs to people in a convenient way. It would also allow the DPS commissioner to request an extension from the Department of Homeland Security to let Minnesotans access military bases and federal buildings using their current ID, which has been an issue for some people in the last couple months. Regardless, people will still be able to use their current driver’s license to fly domestically through 2020.
The reason behind the DPS ban back in 2009 was uncertainty about what additional information would be required with the new IDs, and how the federal government would use this information. Data privacy remains a top priority for representatives on both sides of the aisle, and I am confident we can find the best approach toward enacting REAL ID, which keeping your data private, and safe from federal government misuse.
We plan to have these new IDs start being issues in October of this year. This date would allow everyone to have a REAL ID by 2020 (the federally enforced deadline), while staying on their same driver’s license “renewal cycle." This will prevent people having to purchase an extra ID to meet the 2020 deadline, and avoid unnecessary time waiting in line at the DMV.
The discussion is ongoing in terms of what the new REAL IDs will involve. Once DPS presents their report to the legislature, we will pass legislation to implement the necessary changes in a responsible way that ensures state oversight, and individual data privacy. I will keep you updated as this issue progresses!
Job Fair in Eagan
For anyone who is looking for employment, the Minnesota Workforce Centers of Dakota and Scott counties are hosting a job fair with local employers in Eagan on March 31st from 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
The location is the Eagan Civic Arena at 3870 Pilot Knob Road in Eagan. There will be over 100 different employers there, so stop by and see what opportunities are available! This link has more information about the event for anyone interested in attending: www.mn.gov/deed/events/get-jobs
My husband Rob, our son Gideon, and I would like to wish you all a happy Easter weekend! For our family, it is so important that we set time aside to observe Christ’s death on Good Friday, and joyously celebrate His resurrection with our family and church community on Easter Sunday. It serves as a time of spiritual renewal for us, and a reminder of the new life God has given us through His Son. Whether you celebrate Easter or not, I wish you a relaxing weekend full of family, friends, and great memories!
As always, please don't hesitate to contact me with your comments, questions, and concerns. Email me any time at email@example.com or call 651-296-4306. You can also follow my updates on Facebook at www.facebook.com/repannawills and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/annacwills.
Have a great weekend!
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