I hope you are having an enjoyable week and are already looking forward to a fun-filled weekend! I wanted to get in touch and pass along a few items from St. Paul, as well as a couple significant events from our area.
Data Practices Commission
Last week, I took part in the first post-session meeting of the Legislative Commission on Data Practices. This commission, which is made up of legislators from the House and Senate, reviews data privacy and security issues and state government transparency, then makes recommendations to the legislature. In the coming months, we will cover topics ranging from police body camera data classification to health plan provider data. I look forward to ensuring our government agencies protect the private information of our citizens, while also being transparent to the public.
Angel Tax Credit Program
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has $3.6 million in Angel Tax credits to award. Until September 30, these funds are reserved for minority or women-owned businesses, or businesses located in Greater Minnesota. On October 1, the remaining funds open up to other investors. Already, companies in our state received $1.2 million in tax credits, with each business averaging about $140,000. If you own a business, or know someone who may qualify, be sure to apply for this great program! If you would like more information on the DEED Angel Tax credit, click here.
A side note from DEED, October 1-10 is Minnesota Manufacturing Week. Manufacturing accounts for over 300,000 private sector jobs, one in every eight, in Minnesota. What a great opportunity to honor this industry in our state!
Family Law Visionary Award
Recently, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Minnesota Chapter awarded me the 2015 Family Law Visionary Award. I feel truly honored and humbled by this announcement. I came to the legislature seven years ago desiring to improve the lives of kids in our state, especially those from broken families. I believe the reforms we passed in 2015 will help these children and strengthen the bond children have with each fit, loving, parent. I am continuing my work on family law reform as a member of the Child Support Working Group. Our goal is to study the problems with the current child support formulas and structure and offer remedies during the 2016 legislative session.
On Monday, I joined the House Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance Committee in Becker to tour the Sherco power plant and discuss energy issues. During the hearing, we discussed the EPA Clean Power Plan that threatens this power plant’s future. Sherco provides around a quarter of our state’s electricity and is home to numerous good-paying jobs. In the coming session, we will work toward an energy policy that ensures affordable prices while protecting jobs in our state.
It was a pleasure to visit and read to the children at Foundation Hill Montessori Preschool and Childcare Center in Andover. The center just doubled the size of its building to keep up with demand in our area. It is easy to see why this center is in such high demand. I watched a 4-year-old count by sixes with beads. When I left her side, she was up to 156! Many thanks to owner, Sonja, as well as Val and Jenni for your hospitality!
I also attended the 50th anniversary of Anoka-Ramsey Community College. In the 50 years since ARCC opened, over 200,000 people have attended classes. That is certainly a reason to celebrate! Congratulations to Anoka-Ramsey on being an essential institution in our community for a half-century!
I’ll be in touch soon with another quick update. In the meantime, please call or email me with any questions or suggestions regarding our state government. You may call me at (651) 296-4231, or email at Rep.Peggy.Scott@house.mn.