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

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Legislative Update - December 2, 2021

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Dear neighbors,  

I hope you had a safe and happy Thanksgiving and that you were able to spend some time with your family and friends!  

I’m currently at a conference that was organized by the Council of State Governments (CSG), which requires health screening and self-administered rapid COVID-19 tests for all participants. I’m also continuing my work in our community. For example, I participated in the annual South St. Paul Futures meeting by Zoom this morning.  

Hansen 12.2.2021

President Biden Visits Dakota County

President Joe Biden was in Minnesota on Tuesday! He visited Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount to talk about the bipartisan infrastructure bill that he signed into law recently. Minnesota is expected to receive billions of dollars thanks to this legislation. The funds will be used to repair roads and bridges throughout the state, improve water infrastructure, and much more. You can find information about how these investments will impact our state here.  

DNR License Center Resumes In-Person Services

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) opened their St. Paul License Center for in-person services yesterday. While staff have continued serving Minnesotans over the phone, by mail, and online, the center hasn’t offered in-person services since March of 2020. If you’d like to purchase a hunting or fishing license, apply for a permit, or deal with other DNR licensing needs, you can visit the St. Paul License Center, a local deputy registrar’s office, or mndnr.gov/BuyALicense.  

EAB Management Grants Available

Thanks to the Environment and Natural Resources budget we passed this year, the DNR is providing grants to help local and tribal governments manage emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive species that damages trees. Local and tribal governments could use the grants for several purposes, such as treating and removing ash trees, developing management plans, and planting a diversity of trees. Communities that want funds to remove and replace trees that pose significant public safety concerns or to conduct projects that benefit underserved populations will be given priority.  

A total of $2.4 million is available, and applicants can request up to $150,000. Eligible units of government can find more information about the grants here. Applications will be accepted until Monday, January 24, 2022.  

COVID-19 Update

As you may have heard, a new variant of COVID-19 has been identified. While it will take some time for scientists to learn more about the Omicron variant, experts are urging people to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and to get a booster shot after being vaccinated if they’re 18 years old or older.  

I got a booster shot at Walgreens in West St. Paul a few weeks ago, and it was quick and easy! If you received the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you’re eligible for one six months after your second dose. If you got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you can get a booster shot two months later. The state’s Vaccine Locator Map can help you find providers with vaccines and booster shots in your area. More information about vaccines for children is available at mn.gov/vaxforkids.  

Feel free to contact me if you have questions or if I can be of assistance. You can reach me at rep.rick.hansen@house.mn or (651) 296-6828. 

Sincerely,  

Rick Hansen  
State Representative  

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