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

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Legislative update - January 23, 2020

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Dear Neighbors,

Happy New Year! I hope that your year is off to a great start. We are hard at work getting ready for the upcoming legislative session, which starts February 11th. There are lots of updates to report!

Reminder: District 42 Town Hall Meeting
Rep. Kelly Moller, Sen. Jason Isaacson, and I want to hear from you! We’re holding a town hall meeting on Tuesday, January 28 at Ramsey County Library – Shoreview. Please join us to discuss issues that are important to our community. If you can’t make it to the town hall, please feel free to call or email me! You can reach me at 651-296-7153 or rep.jamie.becker-finn@house.mn.

No Child Left Inside in the News!
MPR recently published and aired a piece about the overwhelming popularity of No Child Left Inside, the grant program that I championed last session. The article, which you can listen to or read here, describes some of the projects that received grants during the first phase of the program. It’s exciting to see the opportunities that No Child Left Inside has already created for Minnesota kids!

A full list of the 60 initiatives that received No Child Left Inside grants so far is available here.

Water Gremlin Update
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) recently announced that Water Gremlin will be allowed to resume their coating operations if the company meets certain conditions. The agency issued an administrative order, available here, describing these conditions, which include collecting air and soil samples during a seven-phase restart process, paying an outside firm to conduct air monitoring every three days, and limiting yearly emissions. I’ll continue following this situation closely and provide updates.

State officials recently held an open house to update community members on everything that’s happened at the Water Gremlin facility and how it’s being handled. If you weren’t able to attend, a video of the meeting is available here. A link to the presentation and additional information is available in my last legislative update.

Be a Voter in the 2020 Presidential Primary
No matter what your party affiliation is, it’s important to cast your vote in Minnesota’s 2020 presidential nominating primary. The primary will be held on Tuesday, March 3, and early voting began Jan. 17. You can check your voter registration status and request an absentee ballot here. More information about the presidential primary is available at the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office’s website here.

Work for the Census
Getting a full and accurate count in the 2020 Census is extremely important! Census data will be used to determine how much federal funding Minnesota receives for school lunches, transportation, Medicare, and other crucial services. It’s also used to reapportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Minnesota currently has eight congressional seats, but we’re right on the bubble of losing one. Every person counted will make a difference!

The Census is looking for Minnesotans to serve as Field Representatives. Census positions are temporary, but they’re very important for our communities and our state. Wages for these jobs start above $20/hour. More information about working for the Census is available here. Please pass it on to anyone who may be interested.

Be Heard on Cannabis
No matter what your viewpoint is, it’s undeniable that attitudes toward cannabis are changing. Majority Leader Ryan Winkler launched a statewide Be Heard on Cannabis tour to hear from Minnesotans on all sides of the issue and discuss what the framework for legalization would look like. One of these events will be held in our area next week and the public is invited to attend to share their views.

House Environment Policy Committee Visits Bemidji Area
This week, members of the Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee hosted a public hearing at Bemidji State University and visited local sites that are impacted by our work at the Capitol. This was a particularly special trip for me because I grew up in the neighboring town of Cass Lake. Over two days, we visited the Badoura State Forest Nursery, Bemidji’s Waste Water Treatment Plant, the Leech Lake Fish Hatchery, and the St. Regis Superfund Site in Cass Lake. The Bemidji Pioneer has a great recap of our travels that you can read here.

Thanks for reading! I hope to see you at one of the upcoming events in our community.

Sincerely,

Jamie Becker-Finn 
State Representative

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