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

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Legislative Update - March 13, 2020

Friday, March 13, 2020

Rep. Becker-Finn

Dear neighbors, 

First, I want to assure you that addressing the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic is my top priority right now. I am doing all I can to work with our legislative leaders and the Governor's office to keep Minnesotans safe.

Being in uncharted territory can be scary, but I have faith that we will get through this with informed action. I am committed to making sure we are still able to take legislative action if needed to take care of the people in our state. The public health of Minnesotans is my top concern and will remain so.


What You Can Do

The following preventive measures are recommended by the CDC:
1. Wash your hands frequently.
2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
3. Stay home when you are sick.
4. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
5. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
6. Be prepared if your child’s school or childcare facility is temporarily dismissed or for potential changes at your workplace.
7. Social distancing. Consider staying at home and avoiding gatherings or other situations of potential exposures, including travel.

It is important that we help take care of each other. Please remember to practice kindness and that this pandemic will impact some community members more than others. I will continue to provide updates as they become available.


Update from Governor Walz

This afternoon, Governor Walz declared a peacetime emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Minnesota Department of Health released a series of recommendations designed to make person-to-person transmission less likely, including cancelling or postponing large gatherings or small ones that don’t allow social distancing. A full list of recommendations is available here. Please take these recommendations seriously.

You can watch the press conference where these announcements were made here.


Coronavirus Resources

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has set up a public hotline that’s open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. You can call the hotline at 651-201-3920 or visit www.health.state.mn for up-to-date and accurate information about COVID-19. I’ll do my best to keep you updated as I receive new information.

Commonly asked questions regarding the virus are available through the World Health Organization here: https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses.

The New York Times “The Daily” podcast has featured several episodes recently on the topic of coronavirus if you prefer to access information via podcast. Those episodes can be accessed at: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/podcasts/the-daily/coronavirus.html.


Free Tax Help Now Available

It’s tax filing season, so I wanted to remind you that many Minnesotans can file their state and federal tax returns for free. Click here to find out if you’re eligible. Free tax preparation assistance is available at more than 200 sites across Minnesota. You can generally get help at one of these sites if you’re 60 years old or older, have a disability, speak limited or no English, or have an annual income that’s less than $56,000. Click here to see if you qualify and find a site near you.

In addition, don’t forget to file for your Homestead Credit Refund or Renter’s Property Tax Refund. You can learn more about these programs here.


2020 Census Reminder

The U.S. Census provides crucial data that’s used to determine how much federal funding our state receives for schools, fire departments, roads and bridges, and other services we all rely on. Census data also impacts representation at the local, state, and national level because it’s used to redraw legislative districts to account for population changes. A strong, accurate count is necessary to ensure fair distribution of resources and equal representation.

This week the U.S. Census Bureau started sending information about the 2020 Census to every household in Minnesota. Please keep an eye out for instructions on how to be counted and make sure to complete your census form online or on paper. If you want more information about this once-in-a-decade count, click here to see a fact sheet or here to watch a short video.


If you have any questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to contact me! You can reach me at rep.becker-finn@house.mn or 651-296-7153.

Sincerely,

Jamie Becker-Finn
State Representative

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