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

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9/11 Remembrance

Monday, September 13, 2021

Dear Neighbors,

Last Saturday marked the 20th anniversary of the events of September 11th. I was grateful to start the day with a flag-raising at the Roseville Fire Department to honor those who were lost, and to thank our firefighters for the work they do every day. I hope you were able to take a moment to reflect as well.

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Upcoming Vaccine Clinics in Ramsey County

With the start of school, flu season, and the Delta variant continuing to pose a threat throughout the country, getting vaccinated is just as important as ever. Ramsey County is opening several convenient vaccine clinics across the county. Learn more, and find the nearest clinic here.

Free COVID-19 testing is still available too! My family has used the walk-in and mail-in locations multiple times and they generally work well (also, kids are really good at the spit tests!).  Find a testing location that works for you here.

Rent Assistance

Starting September 12, you can be evicted if you are behind on rent and you do not qualify for COVID-19 rental assistance. There is still plenty of rental assistance to go around, if you or someone you know needs help, visit renthelpmn.org. Make sure to get your application in now, as there are eviction protections if you have applied for aid.

Roseville School Levy

On November 2, 2021 Roseville area school district residents will vote on whether to renew and increase local funding for our schools through our operating levy. Two questions will appear on your ballot:

  • Question 1: Requests a renewal of the district’s operating levy. This no-tax-increase renewal would lessen but not eliminate major cuts in the future. 
  • Question 2: Requests an increase in the district’s operating levy to support and enhance students’ classroom experiences and provide more financial stability for the district.

Our quality schools are a lot of what makes Roseville a great place to live. Voting to approve these two questions will help lower class sizes, invest in mental health needs, maintain academic programs, and more. Failure to approve these measures would lead to reduction in programing, staff cuts, rising class sizes, and fewer student supports. Learn more about these questions here.

Back to School

Many school supply purchases can qualify for K-12 tax benefits in your 2021 Minnesota tax return. Save receipts from these purchases, including distance learning needs, and claim the K-12 Education Credit or Subtraction. You can learn more about these tax returns here. Here are some expenses that qualify for refunds:

  • Paper and notebooks
  • Pens and pencils
  • Non-religious textbooks
  • Rental or purchases of educational equipment, including musical instruments
  • Computer hardware (including hotspots, modems, and routers) and educational software (up to $200 for the subtraction and $200 for the credit)
  • After-school tutoring and educational summer camps taught by a qualified instructor

DVS Planning to Reopen Examination Centers

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division’s (DPS-DVS) has a preliminary plan to reopen all 93 exam stations throughout the state. The Minnesota Legislature set aside dedicated funding in fiscal years 2022 and 2023 to DPS-DVS to reopen all driver’s license exam stations; the DPS-DVS set a goal to reopen all 93 exam locations by Jan. 31, 2022. 

In May 2020, DPS-DVS consolidated all Minnesota exam stations and their services to 14 locations to increase efficiencies and maintain social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, 26 exam stations are open to serve Minnesotans. DPS-DVS needs to complete the following tasks to accomplish a successful reopening:

  • Renew leases or find new space to lease.
  • Hire and train enough staff to cover testing at each location currently open. • Hire 34 additional examiner positions.
  • Set up an appointment schedule at each location. 

Like many employers, DPS-DVS is facing a significant hiring challenge. Available job positions are posted and frequently updated at https://mn.gov/mmb/careers/.

Hunting Seasons Approaching

As the weather cools and we head into fall, we also approach the statewide hunting openers! You can find the opener dates for your preferred game and hunt applications here. Small game season starts next weekend and there are important updates regarding Chronic Wasting Disease in different areas throughout the state.

Stay in Touch

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance or if you have questions or feedback that you’d like to share. You can follow me on Facebook here and you can reach me by email at rep.jamie.becker-finn@house.mn or by phone at 651-296-7153. 

Sincerely, 

Jamie Becker-Finn

State Representative

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