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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn (DFL)

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Legislative Update - December 8, 2017

Friday, December 8, 2017

Dear Neighbors,

Here are some updates on what I’ve been working on, as well as some information I hope you find useful. Best wishes to everyone with their holiday preparations and celebrations!

Committee on Technology & Responsive Government meeting

Earlier this week the Select Committee on Technology and Responsive Government had another meeting to address the new state vehicle licensing and registration system, referred to as MNLARS. This new system upgrade was necessary to meet our state’s needs but unfortunately there have been numerous problems with the roll-out. You can watch the meeting here.

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Progress continues to be made with ongoing upgrades but there is now a backlog of registrations that must be addressed and wait times are still too long at some license centers. To help address these problems, I have joined other Representatives in co-authoring legislation that will compensate deputy registrars for their overtime in processing licensing and registration requests. I will continue to focus on solutions to this ongoing issue.

REAL ID

Related to the new vehicle licensing and registration system, our state will need to make upgrades to meet REAL ID requirements by October 2018. The Department of Public Safety and Minnesota IT recently announced that our state will be using a private vendor with proven experience helping other states upgrade to REAL ID. You can read more here.

Text to 9-1-1

Minnesotans are now able to text 9-1-1 for help. Law enforcement still encourages people to call 911 when possible but this new technology now offers a text option. This will be incredibly important for people with hearing and speech disabilities, as well as in situations where it may be unsafe to make an audible phone call, such as in cases of domestic violence or sex trafficking. The Pioneer Press put together a nice “how-to” for texting to 9-1-1

Wage Theft

Last year, I co-authored House File 1391 to address wage theft in Minnesota. Wage theft occurs when workers are cheated out of wages from an employer, such as not being paid for overtime work or in some situations not receiving a paycheck at all for completed work. Challenging an employer in court may not be feasible for many workers. We can change state law to better address this problem. Here is a recent KARE 11 story about wage theft.

Go Outside!

We are fortunate to have so many great options for winter recreation in our area. Neighborhood ice rinks will be opening soon but for now you can visit the Roseville Oval or Ice Arena during open skate hours. More information here.

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Although my kids have found enough snow for sledding, I’m personally looking forward to cross country skiing and ice fishing in the coming weeks. Don’t forget to get outside this winter!

As always, it’s an honor to represent you at the State Capitol. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any issues, questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Jamie

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