(Ice fishing on Lake Josephine)
Legislative Session Starts Today!
Legislators returned to St. Paul today for the start of the 2018 Legislative Session. One of the top priorities this session will be passing a bonding bill to fund infrastructure maintenance and repair for water treatment systems, public buildings and bridges throughout Minnesota. We will also focus on addressing conformity with the overhauled federal tax bill to protect middle class families from paying large tax increases in 2019. Finally, it is incredibly important that we approve the employment contracts for public employees who serve our state.
Begining next week, I will share with you individual bills that I am chief authoring. I look forward to sharing these proposals individually to better explain how they will benefit our community.
As the legislative session progresses, please always feel free to send me an email or respond to this email update to share your ideas and concerns. As your voice at the Capitol, it is important that I hear directly from you so I can better serve the residents of our district.
We are huge fans of the Olympics at our house, especially all of our Minnesota athletes who excel at winter sports. This Winter Olympics we sent more than 20 Minnesotans to South Korea to compete. That’s more than any of the surrounding states and third highest in the country. Recently, Governor Dayton proclaimed Winter Olympians Day to show our support for those Minnesotans representing the USA. The Star Tribune also put together a bio of the Minnesota Olympians this year.
We are especially fortunate to have residents of Vadnais Heights and Roseville competing in women’s hockey this year! Gophers star and Roseville Raiders alum Lee Stecklein is playing in her second Olympics, as well as sisters Hannah and Marissa Brandt of Vadnais Heights. Here is a link to a story about the Brandt sisters’ unique path to the Olympic Games.
Winter isn’t quite over yet, so the threat of carbon monoxide is still at its height. The Department of Commerce has some helpful tips for keeping your home safe from this colorless and odorless gas. Those tips include things like making sure your CO detectors are tested and you replace batteries yearly, making sure snow and ice aren’t blocking exterior exhaust vents, and that you use space heaters safely, as well as other great tips.
Free Tax Help Now Available
Tax filing season has started and I want to make sure residents know there are Free Tax Preparations Centers all over Minnesota to help you file. Free tax preparation help from IRS-certified volunteers for your federal and state income tax returns is available to qualified taxpayers that are age 60 or older, have a disability, speak limited or no English, or have income less than $54,000 per year.
Most free tax preparation sites are open Feb. 1 - April 15. Visit the website to find free tax preparation sites near you.
As always, don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns you may have.
Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn