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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Joe McDonald (R)

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Happy Independence Day and notes on new laws in effect

Monday, July 01, 2019

Dear Neighbor,

Best wishes to you and your family as we celebrate Independence Day in honor of this, the greatest nation on God’s green Earth. People in our area take special delight in this holiday and, once again, look for exceptional attendance at the Delano and Annandale parades this Fourth. There’s a long-running rivalry between the two towns regarding whose parade is the biggest and the oldest. May the debate – and the fun! – continue another year!

While the Legislature is out of session, a number of bills that were enacted earlier this year take effect today (July 1). Many of the changes are connected to the new state budget, with two-year finances in place for various areas of state government. This includes everything from transportation to public safety, K-12 education and beyond. Other topics include heart screenings and the state’s opiate response. Click here for an overview of noteworthy changes. In addition, all laws passed by the 2019 Legislature are available at this link.

One thing I want to point out is the state’s new law prohibiting hand-held cell phone use while driving does not take effect today. That law is set to take effect Aug. 1. I encourage people to use hands-free methods now, but it will not be in violation of state law for another month. This website has more details on how to comply with the change.

Also, I would like to mention the Minnesota Department of Agriculture has rolled out the new Dairy Assistance, Investment and Relief Initiative (DAIRI) program providing financial assistance for small- to medium-size dairy producers. This program is designed to help cover the costs of a federal Margin Protection Plan insurance program. This year, the Legislature provided $8 million for DAIRI as a way to help ensure that our dairy farmers can continue to do the good work they do in a tough industry. Click here to apply or to find more information on how to qualify. And, as always, let’s pray for our farmers to be safe, for good growing weather and for their crops to be bountiful this season.

Hope to see you around at upcoming events in our district and, as always, stay in touch. I would like to close with a great Independence Day quote. I don’t know who said it, but I find it amusing:

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness.”

Regards and God bless America,

Joe

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