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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jerry Hertaus (R)

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Legislative report from Rep. Hertaus

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Dear Friends,

I hope this letter finds you well and I urge you to join in spreading the word regarding a couple of items of the public-service announcement variety.

Tax reminder for service members

The Minnesota Department of Revenue is reminding Minnesota’s military service members to take advantage of tax credits before they expire. MDR indicates over 1,500 service members in our state are still eligible to claim 2013 military tax credits before they expire for most next month.

The 2013 credit is worth $120 per month, or partial month served. The department recently distributed last-call letters to those who may file, providing more information on how to do so. MDR also indicates service members have already claimed more than $1 million in refunds for the 2013 credit, with an average refund of $620.

To qualify for the credit, service members must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Served in a combat zone or qualified hazardous-duty area anytime on or after January 1, 2013
  • Been a Minnesota resident during the time of service
  • Received combat pay which is exempt from federal and Minnesota income tax

Applications must be postmarked by Oct. 16. Click here for more information filing this tax credit.

R.I.P. paper death record submissions

The Minnesota Department of Health reports that it has had so much success facilitating online filing of death records that, starting Oct. 1, it will eliminate paper submissions for the state’s 42,000 annual deaths. It is said this shift will reduce wait times for families.

Paper submission has been on the decline since Minnesota started electronic death registration 20 years ago. The department indicates Project Paper Cut has boosted e-death registration among clinicians from 80 percent to 97 percent during the past year. This initiative is part of a national effort to improve the quality and timeliness of death records. Under the Minnesota Vital Records Act, the state registrar manages the statewide system to collect, file, register and issue vital records.

Clinicians who have never registered a death online will need to establish a registration and certification account. Vital Records encourages these medical certifiers to set up their accounts before a death needs to be registered and will provide registration assistance as necessary.

Information specifically for medical certifiers is at the Death Registration Information for Medical Certifiers and Designated Staff link.

Clinicians can contact vital records for help here or by calling 651-201-5993.

The public can click here or call 651-201-5970 with general questions about birth and death certificates.

Chance for H.S. juniors to serve at the Capitol

High school juniors are encouraged to apply to serve as a page at the Capitol in St. Paul during the 2018 legislative session. This is a great opportunity to gain hands-on experience with Minnesota’s state government.

The House’s page program has been in place for more than 40 years and Minnesota is one of only a select few states in the nation to offer this program, providing young people with such an in-depth look into state government. Program participants attend meetings with legislators, constitutional officers, members of the judiciary and others. They also assist during House floor sessions and participate in mock committee hearings.

Pages are selected each year based on a formal process which includes an application, faculty recommendation and an essay. Stipends are available to defray expenses. December 1 is the deadline for high school juniors to apply. More information is available at this link or by calling (651) 296-7452. Local schools also can provide further assistance.

Here’s hoping to see some local faces among the House pages in 2018.

Best regards,

Rep. Jerry Hertaus

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