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Legislative News and Views - Rep. John Huot (DFL)

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Legislative Update- June 19, 2020

Friday, June 19, 2020
Rep. Huot

Dear Neighbors,

We know the Minnesota Zoo has faced unforeseen financial challenges since the onset of COVID. Yesterday, I spoke with WCCO about the state efforts underway to protect our regional and community gem.

Today, the Minnesota House approved $6 million in funding to keep the Zoo’s doors open. Having opened in 1978 as a state agency, the Minnesota Zoo depends on state funding—along with memberships, admission fees, and the Minnesota Zoo Foundation—to survive. It is a state treasure that showcases 4,500 animals in their natural habitat and offers multiple community opportunities for our immediate region. It is crucial that future generations of all ages and abilities can enjoy the Zoo and everything it has to offer. I was glad to support this desperately needed funding.


Re-imagining our Public Safety and Criminal Justice Systems

Late yesterday, the Minnesota House passed legislation that was carefully crafted by the People of Color and Indigenous Caucus through their shared lived experiences. The bills contain no provisions that would disband or defund any law enforcement agency, but rather, establish practical and common-sense reforms like banning choke holds, increasing training around mental health and Autism awareness, holds bad actors accountable, and increases more community led public safety.

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I support officers of the law and first responders that work hard to serve and protect our community every day. At the same time, it’s imperative for us to work together to hold bad actors accountable.


Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Funds Approved

Today, the House passed a bill to deliver $841 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to Minnesota’s cities, counties, and towns, and make new investments in the people of Minnesota. Cities would receive $350 million in aid, counties would receive $467 million, and towns would receive $24 million. Of these funds, Apple Valley would receive approximately $4 million and Rosemount would get approximately $1.8 million.

New investments to help Minnesotans weather COVID’s storm were also included. Some of these provisions fund the following:

  • $21 million for increased compensation for personal care assistants (PCAs)
  • Funding in for childcare assistance necessary to bring Minnesota into federal compliance
  • $18.5 million for overtime staffing for correctional officers
  • $6 million for the Minnesota Zoo
  • $4.1 million for suicide prevention and housing assistance for veterans

Grant Applications for Minnesota Small Businesses Open Next Week

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has announced that Minnesota’s Small Business Relief Grants Program – created by legislation of which I supported and was signed by Governor Tim Walz on Tuesday – will begin accepting applications next week. The application period will begin on Tuesday, June 23 and close at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 2.

Here are the requirements for eligibility:

  • Have a permanent physical location in Minnesota, 
  • Be owned by a permanent resident of Minnesota, 
  • Be in good standing with the Secretary of State’s office and the Dept. of Revenue as of March 1, 2020, and 
  • Demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Virtual Coffee with John

Next Saturday, June 27 at 10:00 a.m., I’ll hold my first summer virtual coffee hour. We’ll be using the free videoconferencing software Zoom, which you can  download here. To join, just click here prior to the meeting beginning. All community members are welcome, and I look forward to connecting online!

WHAT: Virtual Coffee with John

WHEN: Saturday, June 27; 10:00-11:00 a.m.

WHERE: Zoom; meeting ID: 972 8434 5294 password: 553100

(To access the meeting by phone, call 312-626-6799 and enter the meeting ID and password when prompted).

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Keep in Touch

Please contact me anytime at rep.john.huot@house.mn with questions, ideas, or thoughts. Your input helps shape my work for our communities at the state legislature, and I appreciate hearing from you.

Wishing you a safe and happy Father’s Day weekend,

John

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