Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit with the members of the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council during their annual meeting. I gave a recap of the legislative session and our efforts to strengthen opportunities for workers by investing in good-paying jobs, strengthening pay and benefits, and protecting workplace safety. I always appreciate the chance to spend time with our brothers and sisters in labor. Thank you to everyone in our building trades for their work, especially those working outdoors this time of year in the warm weather!
Here's an update from the Capitol, including some important deadlines for Minnesotans.
Today, Cleveland Cliffs announced Northshore Mining will remain idle through at least April 2023. Today’s news is most unwelcome for the dedicated workers who – due to no fault of their own – will continue to face uncertainty regarding when they can return to the job. Whenever Minnesotans face economic adversity, we have the responsibility to step up and help however we can.
Previously, when mines faced prolonged shutdowns, we’ve come together to extend Unemployment Insurance benefits for impacted workers. Most laid-off workers from Northshore will exhaust their UI benefits before the legislature returns to Saint Paul in January. Therefore, it’s critical for lawmakers to come together in a special session and extend this vital economic lifeline for those sent home from their jobs. I hope Governor Walz will call us back to the Capitol to take care of these workers and their families during these tough times, and wrap up other important unfinished business from the legislative session.
This past legislative session, we earned a major victory for workers in the form of bonuses for frontline workers. Workers in fields like health care, child care, first response, food service, retail, and more didn’t have the option to work from home, and put themselves at a greater risk of COVID-19 during the darkest days of the pandemic. If you think you might be eligible, the time to apply is now; the deadline is today at 5 p.m. Visit frontlinepay.mn.gov to learn more about the bonuses and apply.
This session – as part of a bipartisan Veterans Budget bill – lawmakers invested in service bonuses for Minnesota veterans who served in the Global War on Terrorism after September 11, 2011. The state of Minnesota has previously offered similar bonuses for prior conflicts. Learn more and visit the application portal here.
I remain committed to helping ensure those who wore the uniform of our nation can have excellent health care, a place to call home, and economic security. These bonuses represent a strong token of our appreciation to those who put their lives on hold to serve, or in the case of Gold Star Families, our thanks to the loved ones of those who sacrificed all.
If you’re a renter or homeowner, you may be entitled to a Property Tax Refund, either through the Homestead Credit Refund (for which you can apply electronically) or the Renter’s Property Tax Refund program. Every year, many Minnesotans are eligible, but they just forget to apply because the process is separate from your annual income tax filing. You may qualify in 2022 even if you did not in previous years.
The deadline to apply is August 15. Learn more here from the Minnesota Department of Revenue.
Sitting legislators aren’t allowed to proactively send information from the Capitol through postal mail or email during election periods. Therefore, this will be my last e-mail update until later this fall. Still, I encourage you to contact me anytime with your ideas, feedback, or if I can ever be of assistance. Please be in touch, and have a great summer.
It’s an honor to represent you.