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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Rob Ecklund (DFL)

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Legislative Update – September 8, 2021

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Hello Northlanders,

I hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable Labor Day weekend. It’s hard to believe we’re already wrapping up summer and school is again in session. Here’s an update from the Capitol.

9/11 Anniversary

9-11 memorial

This Saturday, we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001. A full day of events will take place on the Minnesota State Capitol grounds in remembrance of those who tragically lost their lives and in salute of the heroes who jumped into action.

From 7:30-9 a.m., the names of Minnesotans lost on 9/11 and during the Global War on Terrorism since then will be read, interspersed with moments of silence and tolling local church bells, corresponding with the times of the 9/11 airplane attacks. At 9 a.m., the official ceremony will begin, with guest speakers, military honors, wreath laying, flyover, and musical tributes. After that at 10:45 a.m., there will be activities including veteran resources and discussion groups, live music, food vendors, children’s activities and a special Post-9/11 display.

More information is available here from the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs.

Back to School

As students head back to the classroom, I want to wish everyone a successful, rewarding school year. The last year and a half have been filled with incredible challenges for students, teachers, staff, and parents as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. After all the struggles, this year at the Capitol we worked to ensure students have the resources they need and deserve to reach their potential. In our compromise budget, we worked together to pass the largest per-pupil funding increase in 15 years, preserved over 4,000 Pre-K slots for our youngest learners, and addressed funding shortfalls in special education, among other investments. The funding we delivered will help schools retain teachers, keep class sizes from growing, and support students who are facing learning loss and other challenges due to COVID-19.

Many school supply purchases qualify for K-12 tax benefits to your 2021 Minnesota tax return. Save receipts from these purchases, including distance learning needs, and claim the K-12 Education Credit or Subtraction, which you can learn more about here. Here are some expenses that qualify for refunds:

  • Paper and notebooks
  • Pens and pencils
  • Rental or purchases of educational equipment, including musical instruments
  • Computer hardware (including hotspots, modems, and routers) and educational software (up to $200 for the subtraction and $200 for the credit)
  • After-school tutoring and educational summer camps taught by a qualified instructor

2022 Redistricting

Every ten years following the U.S. Census, lawmakers begin the process of redrawing the boundaries of Minnesota’s eight congressional districts and 201 legislative districts to reflect population changes. It’s also important to ensure this process is fair, and the maps should reflect Minnesota’s geographic, ethnic, and economic diversity.

Citizen input is crucial to this process. The House Redistricting Committee is holding a series of public hearings giving Minnesotans the ability to share their thoughts. A hearing devoted to the 8th Congressional District – where we live – will be held Monday, September 20 at 7 p.m. More information and resources, including directions on how you can participate in this process, can be found on the committee’s website.

Don’t hesitate to contact me with your feedback and ideas, or if I can ever be of assistance. It’s an honor to represent you.


Rob Ecklund
State Representative