For more information contact: Chad Urdahl 651-296-5520
Just a quick roundup of some legislative jottings:
I attended a very productive conference pertaining to veterans care this week. It was a lot of brainstorming on how to address a wide variety of vets issues, from homelessness to civilian employment, mental health, opioids and beyond.
Basically, any way we could help improve veterans services was up for discussion. We heard from federal department representatives of the VA, health and human services, jobs/labor and others. This conference was especially beneficial to me since veterans are a top priority of mine and I work closely with these issues as a member of the House Veterans Affairs Division.
On another subject, you probably saw it but Minnesota Monthly magazine spilled the secret many of us have known all along by naming Bemidji its “Best MN Town.” In all seriousness, this is a nice honor and is something that should be a source of pride for local citizens and officials. This says a lot about the state of affairs in this area and it is nice to see people elsewhere are taking notice of all the hard work and good results.
One of the most noteworthy headlines from St. Paul this week is the state has contracted a private firm to handle what has so far been a sloppy rollout of the new Minnesota License and Registration system. Citizens and registrars have been frustrated to no end by flaws in the system. The hope is that FAST Enterprises will succeed where the state has failed in developing the driver services portion of MNLARS.
FAST Enterprises has a good track record, successfully implementing driver and vehicle systems in 11 other states. The company also has previously provided high-quality, customer-focused IT services to the state of Minnesota for other projects.
This improvement should put our state on a better path for meeting the federal government’s October 2018 deadline for Minnesota to comply with Real ID-compliant licenses and ID cards. The federal government is in the process of increasing ID standards in the name of public safety following the 9-11 terrorist attacks.
The final phase of federal Real ID implementation pertains to boarding commercial, domestic flights. Citizens do not have to take any further action at this point and are advised proceed with travel plans as usual while work continues to bring our state’s IDs into compliance by the deadline.
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