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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Kelly Moller (DFL)

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Legislative Update - July 24, 2019

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Dear Neighbors,
 
I hope summer is treating you and your family well. Last week I had the opportunity to join some members of our community on a tour of the State Capitol. Having undergone renovations completed in 2017, the “People’s House” has breathtaking detail in all of the public spaces and plenty of artwork throughout the building telling the story of the state of Minnesota. The group also had the opportunity to visit the Quadriga (golden horses) and the House Floor.

If you haven’t seen the Capitol since the renovations, I’d encourage you to plan a visit. Free guided tours are available each hour. More information is available here.

Since the Legislature adjourned in May, I’m still working on a variety of issues preparing for the next legislative session. Additionally, I’ve been appointed to three legislative panels (in addition to my positions on House standing committees) which will hold meetings in the interim period between sessions. The Legislative Coordinating Commission’s Subcommittee on Data Practicesjust held its first meeting where we discussed the use of drones by law enforcement. The Legislative Energy Commission goes in-depth on everything regarding energy in our state, including innovative efforts to develop more renewable sources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Minnesota Financial Crimes Task Force – within the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension – investigates crimes related to identity theft, and I’ve been appointed to the task force’s advisory board, charged with providing direction and other expertise.
 

Environmental Forum

The impacts of climate change are taking hold quickly and unless we take action, our planet could experience irreversible harm. Inaction isn’t an option, and as Minnesotans, we have the capacity to advance solutions.

You’re invited to attend an event I’m hosting in partnership with Conservation Minnesota on Thursday, August 15 from 7 – 8:30 p.m. “Environmental Forum: Issues & Action-Based Solutions for All Minnesotans” will give us an opportunity to develop a greater understanding of climate change’s impacts, as well as discuss concrete steps we can take to address the problem. We will meet at Peace Church in Shoreview (5050 Hodgson Rd.) and representatives from Conservation Minnesota, the Sierra Club, the University of Minnesota and other organizations will be on hand to share their perspectives. I’ve heard from many neighbors deeply invested in this issue, and everyone in the community is invited to attend; all ages from youth to retirees are welcome.
 
WHAT: Environmental Forum: Issues & Action-Based Solutions for All Minnesotans
WHO: Rep. Kelly Moller, Conservation Minnesota
WHEN: Thursday, August 15, 7 – 8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Peace Church, 5050 Hodgson Rd., Shoreview, 55126
 

Hands-Free – August 1

On August 1, several new laws the Legislature approved this past session take effect. Perhaps most notable among these is the new “Hands-Free” law which will prohibit the hand-held use of mobile devices behind the wheel.
 
Citations for texting while driving climbed 30 percent from 2017 to 2018. In Minnesota, distracted driving plays a role in one out of five crashes, resulting in an average of 45 deaths per year. As many of us increasingly rely on our cell phones to stay connected constantly, it’s important to keep our attention squarely on the road while driving. The new law may mean some changes, including connecting to a Bluetooth device, using a dash clip, turning on “do not disturb” mode while driving, or simply keeping your phone in your purse or pocket and ignoring it.
 
In addition to being dangerous, after August 1 holding a cell phone while driving could be costly, too. The first ticket will cost $50 plus court fees and subsequent tickets are $275 plus court fees.
 
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety has launched a public awareness campaign, along with a website featuring comprehensive information available here including some Frequently Asked Questions and fact sheets in four different languages. While we’re a week away from this law taking effect, let’s all commit to developing good habits behind the wheel now to not only avoid citations, but to save lives.
 

Let’s Stay Connected/Office Hours

 
While the Legislature isn’t in session, I remain committed to making myself accessible to the community. During the interim, I’m hosting office hours every Wednesday and am available to meet at the Capitol, in the district, or on the phone. To schedule a meeting, please call Katie, my Legislative Assistant, at 651-297-8146.
 
It’s an honor to represent you at the Capitol.
 
Sincerely,
 
Kelly Moller
State Representative