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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jim Davnie (DFL)

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Legislative Update- July 29, 2019

Monday, July 29, 2019

Dear Neighbors,

I hope you’re having a wonderful summer. Several new laws took effect earlier this month including our two-year state budget bills and fee increases to Big Pharma for their contribution to the opioid crisis devastating families across the state. You can find the full list of all the new laws from our nonpartisan Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services office.

PolyMet Update

Last week, I joined a number of my DFL colleagues in the House and Senate in submitting a letter to Governor Walz to respectfully urge him to stop state permitting of hard metal/copper-nickel mining in our treasured Boundary Waters. Our letter to the Governor outlines concerns about the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s suppression of EPA comments critical of the water pollution permit issued to PolyMet by Minnesota regulators. Given the unique and precious nature of the BWCA, any efforts to sidestep normal regulatory procedures are a significant cause for concern. You can find the letter and story from the Pioneer Press here.

‘Hands-Free’ Driving Law to Take Effect August 1

Beginning this week on Thursday, Minnesota drivers will be required to use their mobile devices in ‘hands-free’ mode, using one-touch activation, while behind the wheel. All Minnesotans deserve to be safe on the roads, sidewalks, and crosswalks, no matter their mode of transportation, and with distracted driving on the rise, I’m glad we’ve taken measures to help prevent more senseless tragedies. You can find helpful tips and frequently asked questions about what is allowed under the new law here.

 

Wage Theft Protection

The strictest wage theft prevention law in the country is also set to go into effect August 1. All Minnesotans deserve to be paid for the hours they work and now employers who steal wages by not paying overtime, misclassifying employees, or skimming time off paychecks will be held accountable. Offenses for wage theft include a felony charge and can result in up to five years in prison. This is a major victory for Minnesotans to ensure all workers are paid the wages they’ve earned.

Property Tax/Renters Refund Reminder

This is a friendly reminder to apply for your property or renters tax refund, which is due by August 15. Many homeowners and renters are eligible, but forget to file. Check your eligibility, read instructions and download Form M1PR by visiting the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s website.

National Night Out

National Night Out is approaching on August 6. If you are hosting a neighborhood block party, I’d love to stop by to visit. Please feel free to give me a call at 651-296-0173 or send me an email with the details.

Keep in Touch

Please always feel free to contact me with any questions or input. I appreciate hearing from you!

Sincerely,

Jim Davnie

State Representative