The 2018 legislative session will begin on Tuesday, February 20. Below are updates on a few of the major issues and information about local town hall meetings that I will be hosting with Rep. Mike Freiberg and Sen. Ann Rest.
Town Hall Meetings – February 17th and April 7th
I encourage you to attend the town hall meetings. The first is scheduled for Saturday, February 17th, 9:30-11:00 a.m. at the Crystal Community Center (4800 Douglas Drive N, Crystal, MN 55429). The second meeting will take place Saturday, April 7th, 9:30-11:00 a.m. also at the Crystal Community Center. This is an opportunity to hear updates on the legislative session and to provide input on issues important to you and your family. These meetings are open to the public.
One of the major priorities of the 2018 session will be the Capital Investment bill (Bonding Bill) which funds state investments to maintain and improve Minnesota’s infrastructure. Governor Dayton recently submitted his bonding proposal which includes updates to many of Minnesota’s water systems, public buildings, bridges and dams that are in need of repair. Here's a link to a map showing the projects Governor Dayton has proposed. Some of the funding recommendations in the Governor’s proposal could impact local projects for flood mitigation work and college and university facility improvements in our region. In all, the Governor’s proposal would create over 20,000 new jobs. To get the most value for our investment, it is important to pass a robust public infrastructure bill while interest rates are still low.
Other important issues to be considered during session are education and health care. My priority is to support legislation that gives people in our community a fair chance to succeed and that our economy is working for everyone. That means providing access to a quality education, a job that rewards hard work with fair pay, and a secure retirement.
Minnesota House Public Information Features Rep. Carlson
I recently sat down with members of the House Public Information Office for one of the many features they did with current members of the House. There was plenty to discuss, and we spoke about things ranging from what first inspired me to serve our community, to my views on how things have changed at the Capitol through the years. You can watch the interview here.
February is Black History Month
Governor Dayton proclaimed February to be Black History Month in Minnesota: “While African-American history should be studied throughout the year, Black History Month provides a special opportunity to focus on the unique experiences and contributions of African Americans in our state and our country. Throughout the month, Governor Dayton encourages Minnesotans to reflect on our state’s past, celebrate the contributions of African Americans in our communities, and work together to make our state a place of opportunity for all Minnesotans.”
Minnesota Joins Effort to Curb Traffic Deaths
Minnesota’s Toward Zero Deaths initiative has reduced traffic deaths by 40% over the last 15 years. As a result, Minnesota has been selected by the National Governor’s Association to join their national effort to reduce traffic deaths. The joint effort will make roads safer through improving traffic analysis and communications.
You can learn more about Minnesota’s Toward Zero Deaths, the state’s cornerstone traffic safety program.
Free Tax Help Now Available
Tax filing season has started and Free Tax Preparations Centers are now open across Minnesota. You may qualify for free tax preparation help from IRS-certified volunteers at locations across Minnesota for your federal and state income tax returns. Qualified taxpayers are age 60 or older, have a disability, speak limited or no English, or have income less than $54,000 per year.
Most free tax preparation sites are open Feb. 1 - April 15. Visit the website to find free tax preparation sites near you.