As I prepare for the legislative session to begin next week, I wanted to update you on what I’ve been working on and share some information that may be helpful.
Addressing the Impact of Incarceration on Children and Families
Incarceration has a significant impact on children and families. Children with incarcerated parents are more likely to experience poor health, difficulty in school, struggles with mental health, and other challenges. On Monday, the House Early Childhood Committee, of which I’m a member, and the Corrections Committee held a special joint hearing to discuss what we can do to help Minnesota families that have been impacted by incarceration. You can read about some of the specific steps we discussed here, or watch the entire hearing here.
Supporting Agricultural Education
Earlier this week I attended a breakfast meeting hosted by the Minnesota Association of Agricultural Educators (MAELC). We had a great discussion about supporting and improving agricultural education. Agriculture is a huge part of our heritage and our economy, so we need to make sure that young Minnesotans have opportunities to learn about it and pursue a variety of related careers.
Free Tax Help Now Available
Tax filing season has started, and I want to make sure Minnesotans know that there are more than 200 free tax preparation sites available to help residents file their tax returns. You can generally get help at one of these sites if you are 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 for free tax preparation help and find a site near you. I also want to remind you that thousands of taxpayers are eligible to file electronically for free. Click here to find out if you qualify for free state and federal income tax filing.
State Settlements with CenturyLink and Comcast
Attorney General Keith Ellison recently announced that the state of Minnesota has reached settlements with CenturyLink and Comcast/Xfinity. Thousands of Minnesotans will be eligible for refunds or debt relief under the terms of these settlements. You can find out if you’re eligible for reimbursement by submitting your information to the Attorney General’s office. Click here if you’re a CenturyLink customer and here if you’re a Comcast customer. I’m pleased that Minnesotans will get the relief they deserve, and that CenturyLink and Comcast are being held accountable for failing to operate in a fair and transparent manner.
Make Your Voice Heard
On Saturday, February 15, Sen. Chuck Wiger, Rep. Peter Fischer, and I are holding a town hall to hear your ideas and suggestions as the 2020 legislative session gets underway. Representatives from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will be available to answer questions and provide an update on what’s happening at the Water Gremlin facility. I hope to see you there!
When: Saturday, February 15 from 9 – 10 a.m.
Where: White Bear City Hall, 4701 Highway 61, White Bear Lake, MN 55110
Please continue sharing questions, feedback, and ideas with me! I always appreciate hearing from fellow community members.