I hope the summer has been treating you well. With the start of August, a new batch of laws, deadlines, and events are taking place, which you can read about below.
New Laws Taking Effect August 1
Several laws that my colleagues and I passed this session took effect on August 1, including the new hands-free law, which you can read about in-depth on the Office of Traffic Safety website. This legislation prohibits holding a cell phone while driving on Minnesota roads. Drivers will still be able to make calls, text, listen to music, and get directions as long as they use voice commands or single-touch activation. Hands-free laws have reduced accidents and fatalities in other states.
Other new laws taking effect this month will:
More information about all of the new laws from this year’s legislative session can be found here.
- Protect seniors and vulnerable adults who live in nursing homes and assisted living facilities from retaliation after they file a complaint.
- Improve transparency in our health care system by requiring clinics to disclose facility fees so patients aren’t surprised by higher out-of-pocket costs.
- Make it easier for people with disabilities to obtain disability license plates and permits.
- Allow deployed service members to participate remotely in local government meetings.
- Fully incorporate the wage theft prevention and enforcement measures passed this year. Minnesotans deserve to be paid for their work, and the laws we passed this year will ensure those who seek to deny workers their wages will be held accountable.
Night to Unite
Tomorrow is “Night to Unite,” (also known as National Night Out) an annual event to further strengthen the bonds that allow our communities to succeed. This week, neighborhoods all across the nation – including in our community – will gather for block parties. When we take the time to meet our neighbors, have a conversation, and learn a bit about one another, we can form valuable connections which promote inclusivity.
You can find more information online for the various events in Crystal, New Hope, and Plymouth. Night to Unite also gives communities an opportunity to form better relationships with law enforcement and first responders so we can prevent crime. Police squad cars and fire trucks often make appearances at the block parties, which are always a hit with kids! I firmly believe that when we approach public safety through a community-centered lens, neighborhoods can not only build positive relationships with law enforcement, but make real progress reducing crime.
Property Tax Refund and Renters Credit
A quick reminder for everyone to apply for a property tax refund or renters credit before it’s too late. Many Minnesotans qualify for these refunds, but many forget to file! Take a few minutes to review the eligibility requirements and apply online here before the August 15 filing deadline.
Stay in Touch
If you have any questions about the new laws or the legislative process, please feel free to contact me. During the interim I’ll be back home working with neighbors to find solutions to the issues facing our community and state, and I would appreciate your input! As always, you can reach me at (651) 296-4255 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you!