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Minnesota Legislature

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

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Legislative Update - July 23, 2019

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Dear neighbors,

I hope you are having a good summer and enjoying all that our community and state have to offer. Many summer festivals are coming up soon and there are only 31 days until the State Fair! My family has been busy with youth soccer and spending time outside with family and friends, including visits to three State Parks so far. Please take care as we experience extreme heat and weather this season.

New Laws Taking Effect August 1

Several laws that my colleagues and I passed this session will take effect on August 1, including the new hands-free law. This legislation prohibits holding a cell phone while driving on Minnesota roads. Drivers will still be able to make calls, text, listen to music, and get directions as long as they use voice commands or single-touch activation. Hands-free laws have reduced accidents and fatalities in other states.

A guide to the new law with helpful tips for going hands-free is available here.

Other laws taking effect next month will:

  • Protect seniors and vulnerable adults who live in nursing homes and assisted living facilities from retaliation after they file a complaint.   
  • Require clinics to disclose facility fees so patients aren’t surprised by higher out-of-pocket costs.
  • Make it easier for people with disabilities to obtain disability license plates and permits.
  • Allow deployed service members to participate remotely in local government meetings.

More information about these laws and more is available here.

Water Gremlin Update

Companies must be held accountable for poisoning our communities. Earlier this year, it was discovered that an industrial facility owned by Water Gremlin in the Gem Lake area had been polluting the air with the toxic chemical TCE. A settlement was subsequently reached with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). You can read more about the settlement here.

The MPCA recently announced that Water Gremlin hasn’t fulfilled one of the terms of their agreement. As part of their settlement with the state, Water Gremlin agreed to install pollution control equipment and test it within 30 days. The equipment was installed 85 days ago, but the company still hasn’t tested it. They’ve asked to extend the deadline three times, but the MPCA denied their latest request. Water Gremlin will be fined $500 a day until the testing is complete. I will do all that I can to support community members by making sure Water Gremlin is held accountable.

Property Tax Refund and Renters Credit

I want to remind everyone to apply for a property tax refund or renters credit before it’s too late. Many Minnesotans qualify for these refunds, but many forget to file! Take a few minutes to review the eligibility requirements and apply online here before the August 15 filing deadline.

Discover Your Parks

Roseville hosts events at parks across the city on Wednesdays from 6:30 – 8:00pm. These weekly events offer themed activities, games, crafts, refreshments, a bouncy castle, and a puppet show. They’re completely free and a great opportunity to spend time with friends and neighbors!

This week’s Discover Your Parks event will be held at Lake Josephine. A full list of parks and dates is available here.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any thoughts, questions, or concerns you may have. I appreciate hearing from you!

Sincerely,

Jamie