I hope you’re having a wonderful summer! Since the Legislature adjourned in late May, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to connect with folks in the community. I’ve seen many familiar faces while out and about in Blaine, Coon Rapids, and Spring Lake Park this summer.
New Laws Take Effect
The laws that my colleagues and I approved this session start taking effect this summer. The budget legislation that I described in my last email became law in July. Two of my bills took effect on August 1. One makes Minnesota roads safer by requiring drivers to follow instructions from flaggers when passing through a construction zone. Another allows deployed service members to participate remotely in local government hearings.
New laws that have already taken effect will:
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, distracted driving is a factor in one in five accidents and causes an average of 53 deaths and 216 serious injuries every year. Many Minnesotans who’ve lost a loved one due to distracted driving shared their stories with legislators this session. Their heartbreaking tales inspired me to support the hands-free law, which took effect on August 1.
The new law is similar to policies that have reduced crashes and fatalities in other states. Drivers can only use cell phones in a hands-free mode while behind the wheel. They’re allowed to make calls, text, listen to music, and get directions without holding their phone.
Make sure that you’re using voice commands or single-touch activation if you use your cell phone while driving. If you’d like to review what’s allowed under the new law, you can find a helpful guide from the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety here. The guide also has tips for going hands-free.
Property Tax Refunds
This is a friendly reminder to apply for a property tax refund before the August 15 deadline. Many homeowners and renters are eligible to receive a refund but forget to file. To see if you qualify, please visit www.revenue.state.mn.us/property-tax-refund.
Night to Unite
This year’s Night to Unite is approaching quickly. I’ll be out and about in the community tomorrow, and I’d love to stop by to visit if you’re hosting a neighborhood block party. Please feel free to give me a call at 651-296-5369 or send the details to email@example.com.