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Neighbors and Friends,
One week remains for frontline workers to apply for a bonus for their work during the pandemic. Money set aside for this program will be split equally among all approved applicants. I appreciate those who put themselves in harm’s way and encourage them to apply if eligible and to spread the word to friends and family.
In the Community
It is an honor to receive recognition for some of my legislative efforts. In the coming weeks, The Bell Museum and All Aboard Minnesota are each hosting events and spotlighting our collaborative accomplishments. They are among many organizations I have been privileged to work with and whose missions I strongly support. I am in the final months of my legislative career and while it is bittersweet to leave my Capitol work, I trust our partnerships will endure as these organizations move forward.
Help for our Hometown Heroes
In July 2021, the state legislature passed the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program (HHAP), which dedicates $4 million per year to ensure every Minnesota firefighter will have access to the education, prevention and care needed to handle a cardiac, emotional trauma or cancer diagnosis.
The program has already had an immense impact on firefighters' lives across the state – with free health and wellness resources to protect our hometown heroes and their families. Learn more here.
Hemp Edibles Now Legal in Minnesota
As of July 1, low-dose THC edibles and drinks are legal under new legislation. This law only allows for products containing THC derived from hemp, not products derived from Cannabis.
Before this legislation was signed into law, Minnesota had little to no regulatory framework around products containing THC derived from hemp. Products targeting youth quickly flourished across the state, often with colorful advertising/packaging and candy-like products in non-childproofed containers. I’m glad the new law adds necessary guardrails to protect youths. Next steps include:
July Economic Forecast Update
According to Minnesota Management and Budget, the net general fund receipts for FY 2022 are now estimated to total $30.329 billion, $2.927 billion (10.7 percent) more than projected in the February 2022 Budget and Economic Forecast. Most of the higher-than-expected revenue reflects the timing of payments from Pass-Through-Entities (PTE). Over the next six months It is expected these revenues will be largely offset by related tax credits and refunds. It is believed at the close of fiscal year 2022, state revenues associated with tax year 2021 are at least $1 billion over forecast.
Overall, there is some evidence in Minnesota’s tax revenues consistent with a slowing economy. Also, since February our national forecasters have consistently lowered their expectations for U.S. economic growth in 2022-2025, and they say the risk of a recession beginning in the next 12 months is increasing. You can find more information on this month's economic forecast here.
Every home in the U.S. is now eligible to order a third round of free at-home COVID-19 tests. Click here to place your order. You can also call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489). More COVID-19 updates are available through the Minnesota Department of Health website, or the U of M Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP).
During an election period, legislators cannot use state resources for unsolicited communications because it might create an unfair advantage. Next week, I will send my last weekly update until after the election. I am still available to help with the state-level problems and to discuss important issues in our community, so please reach out if I can assist in any way.
You can watch legislative sessions and committee hearings by going to this link on the Minnesota House of Representatives website. The Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services also offers nonpartisan recaps of high-profile bills, committee hearings, and floor sessions with their Session Daily publication. Subscribe to receive these here.
I welcome your questions and comments anytime. You can call me at (651) 296-3824 or email me at email@example.com.
Thank you for the privilege of representing you in the legislature.