Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Greetings as we prepare to celebrate our great nation’s birth this Independence Day.
I hope you are able to make it out to any of the various events that will take place this week to commemorate our Declaration of Independence. Watch for me in the Stewartville 4th of July parade and please let me know if you have any issues you’d like to chat about.
The start of July also means a number of new state laws are now in effect but, before we get to those, I would like to touch on one new law that will NOT be enforced until Aug. 1. A new law prohibiting the use of hand-held cell phones while driving was enacted earlier this year and, while I encourage using hands-free methods now, it will not be mandatory for another month. This website has more details on this subject.
As for laws that are in effect July 1, most pertain to finances with the arrival of the new fiscal biennium. Two-year funding packages regarding everything from transportation to public safety, K-12 education and beyond are now state law. Other changes include heart screenings and the state’s opiate response.
One other note I would like to pass along: 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.
Have a great Independence Day,