It has been great to see so many people out and about enjoying themselves at community celebrations throughout our region in recent weeks.
Our summers may seem short, but people sure have been taking advantage of the warm weather. It has been rather refreshing to see that, after couple of weird years for community festivals and gatherings in general, things have pretty much returned to normal. Except for gas prices, that is. I think we’d all welcome a return to 2020 fuel costs that were less than half of what we are paying today.
Rising prices highlight need for tax relief
From gas prices to home energy, groceries and beyond, pretty much everything is costing more these days as we suffer price increases higher than we’ve seen in 40 years. People are hurting, yet the state has several billion dollars in surplus tax collections. It underscores the importance of passing meaningful, permanent tax relief right out of the gate when the Legislature convenes in January.
Senate Republicans proposed more than $8 billion in tax relief earlier this year, while House Democrats were looking to spend $21 for every $1 in tax cuts. Turnover in the House will be significant next year, starting with dozens of members retiring or seeking other offices. Let’s hope this shuffling of the deck paves the way for making real progress on top priorities such as tax relief – starting with eliminating state taxes on Social Security – and working to make our state’s streets safer at a time violent crime continues to soar.
I am pleased to announce the National Federation of Independent Business has presented me with the prestigious Guardian of Small Business Award for my 100% score on the NFIB Minnesota Voting Record for 2021-22.
The Guardian of Small Business Award is reserved for legislators who vote consistently with small business on the key issues identified by small business owners. Minnesota lawmakers who voted with small business on key issues 80% or more of the time during the 2021-22 legislative sessions earned the NFIB Guardian of Small Business Award.
Lawmakers are informed prior to Key Votes of consensus positions developed through NFIB's one member, one vote policy and asked to support the priorities of small business with their vote. Key Votes are recorded in the biennial NFIB Minnesota Voting Record and distributed to the more than 10,000 small businesses that belong to NFIB here.
Thank you to the NFIB for this recognition and I look forward to continuing efforts to support small businesses in Minnesota, the backbone of our economy.
July 22 deadline to apply for frontline worker pay
Applications for the Frontline Worker Pay program will be accepted through this Friday. Eligible workers include health care workers, first responders, public transit workers, childcare workers and many others. Those that are eligible can receive up to $1,500 based on how many people apply. You can apply or find more details regarding eligibility at this link.
988 mental health crisis hotline available
A new 988 Suicide and Crisis Hotline number recently went live, providing a universal number for people in need to call or text and receive help. This hotline is an effort to help prevent suicide and provide resources to those facing a mental health crisis. I hope “988” becomes as engrained as “911” has become in our minds so people are quick to react and use this tool when necessary.
Childcare development grants
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has launched the latest round of?Child Care Economic Development Grants to increase quality child care providers and support economic development across Minnesota. DEED is seeking proposals from local governments or nonprofits with experience in the operations, financing, advocacy, or advancement of the delivery of child care services. Qualified parties may request up to $300,000 in state funds for this program.
Individual child care providers, both centers and family-based, seeking funds to establish new operations or expanding existing operations are encouraged to partner on their funding request with local or regional organizations with experience in the planning or financing of child care facilities. A total of $2.425 million will be available in this round of funding.
Applications must be submitted by Aug. 30. This link has more details about this grant program. An informational webinar also will take place 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. this Tuesday (July 26) at this Microsoft Teams link; you also can participate by phone by calling (651) 395-7488 (Conference ID 175 607 021#).
Newsletters on hold
The end of this week brings us to 60 days since the 2022 legislative session ended, at which point emailed legislative newsletters such as this must cease until after the November election. I will continue doing my best to represent the people of District 13A, it’s just that emailed communications will need to take place individually. As always, your input is welcome and appreciated.
Until next time, I hope the rest of your summer goes well and I hope to see you around the district.