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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL)

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Legislative Update - September 14, 2021

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Dear neighbors,  

It was an honor to be part of the Private Joseph Marthaler Memorial Bridge dedication on Sunday.  

Hansen 9.14.2021

Private Marthaler was killed in action in the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. I authored legislation to name the Highway 52 bridge over Wentworth Avenue after him. The bridge is located near the farm in West St. Paul where Private Marthaler grew up.  

Minnesota Department of Revenue Begins Processing Refunds

More than 540,000 Minnesotans are eligible for refunds thanks to tax cuts legislators passed earlier this year. In late June, we approved tax cuts for people who received unemployment insurance benefits and federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Since most people had already submitted their individual income tax returns, the Minnesota Department of Revenue developed a system to adjust impacted returns on their end. Most taxpayers won’t need to file amended returns, and the new system will help the agency deliver refunds as quickly as possible.  

The Department of Revenue began adjusting returns and delivering refunds yesterday. They plan to process about 1,000 returns per week at first and build up to 50,000 per week by late October. You can find more information here.  

Bond Sale Allows Minnesota to Make Investments 

The State of Minnesota sold $876.2 million worth of bonds last week. The proceeds will support dozens of important projects that were included in the Jobs and Local Projects Bill legislators passed in 2020. The funds will be used to maintain and improve roads and bridges, affordable housing, parks and trails, state colleges and universities, clean water infrastructure, and more. Our community and communities across Minnesota will benefit from these investments and the jobs they create.  

The bond sale received interest rates that were near historic lows. This allows our state to invest in the things Minnesotans care about and saves taxpayers money. You can read more about the sale here.  

Hearing on Chronic Wasting Disease 

The House Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy Committee held a public hearing this morning. The meeting was dedicated to chronic wasting disease (CWD), a fatal neurological disorder that’s threatening Minnesota’s wild deer population, economy, and outdoor recreation. I appreciated the opportunity to hear from scientists, agency staff, tribal leaders, and other Minnesotans with expertise and experience in this area.  

If you’d like to hear more about CWD and what Minnesota is doing to control it, you can watch the hearing on House Public Information Services’ YouTube channel.  

I appreciate hearing from community members, so please feel free to share questions, ideas, and feedback. You can reach me by email at rep.rick.hansen@house.mn or by phone at (651) 296-6828.  

Sincerely,  

Rick Hansen  
State Representative 

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