Greetings as we make our way into the second half of summer and try to squeeze all we can out of the warm weather while it lasts. The good news is sweet corn season soon will be here in earnest!
This is the offseason for the Legislature and it has been good to have more time back at home talking with people in our district. Pretty much everywhere I go these days I am hearing from people who are concerned about the 40-year price increases we are experiencing in today’s Biden-Walz economy.
From gas prices to home energy, groceries, people are feeling the pain of inflation. Here’s the kicker: Minnesotans are hurting financially and trying to stretch their money, yet the state has several billion dollars in surplus tax collections.
This highlights the need to pass meaningful, permanent tax relief when the Legislature convenes in January. Minnesota Republicans proposed more than $8 billion in tax relief earlier this year, but House Democrats were looking to spend $21 for every $1 in tax cuts. Unfortunately, the House Democrats’ insistence on spending surplus tax collections on government programs prevented historic tax relief from becoming reality.
Let’s hope new faces in the Legislature next year will help us deliver historic tax relief – starting with eliminating state taxes on Social Security. We also need to continue working to make our state’s streets safer at a time failed leadership has allowed violent crime to soar.
In other news:
It was an honor to recently receive the prestigious Guardian of Small Business Award from the National Federation of Independent Business for my score on the NFIB Minnesota Voting Record for 2021-22.
The Guardian of Small Business Award is reserved for legislators who vote consistently with small business on the key issues identified by small business owners.
Our small businesses have had so much thrown at them the last couple of years and they continue to face economic challenges. We need to keep working to make Minnesota a better place to operate a business. Thank you to the NFIB for this award as I continue doing my best to support small businesses in our area and throughout the state
July 22 deadline to apply for frontline worker pay
This Friday is the deadline to apply for the Frontline Worker Pay program in Minnesota. Eligible workers include health care workers, first responders, public transit workers, childcare workers and more. Workers who are eligible can receive up to $1,500 – based on how many people apply. You can apply or find more details regarding eligibility at this link.
988 mental health crisis hotline available
A new 988 Suicide and Crisis Hotline number is up and running, providing people with a universal number to call or text and receive help in times of need. This is an effort to help prevent suicide and provide resources to those facing a mental health crisis. I hope “988” becomes a valuable tool for people to use to get help fast when necessary.
Childcare development grants
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has launched the latest round of?Child Care Economic Development Grants to increase quality child care providers and support economic development across Minnesota. DEED is seeking proposals from local governments or nonprofits with experience in the operations, financing, advocacy, or advancement of the delivery of child care services. Qualified parties may request up to $300,000 in state funds for this program.
Individual child care providers, both centers and family-based, seeking funds to establish new operations or expanding existing operations are encouraged to partner on their funding request with local or regional organizations with experience in the planning or financing of child care facilities.
Applications must be submitted by Aug. 30. This link has more details about this grant program. An informational webinar also will take place 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. this Tuesday (July 26) at this Microsoft Teams link; you also can participate by phone by calling (651) 395-7488 (Conference ID 175 607 021#).
Newsletters on hold
This week we reach 60 days since the end of the 2022 legislative session, the point at which legislators are prohibited from emailing newsletters such as this until after the November election. I will continue doing my best to represent the people of our area during this period, including individual email correspondence. Your input, as always, is welcome and appreciated.
Until next time, hope you are having a good summer and please stay in touch.