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

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Update: SMART Center Opens in Dakota County, Boosters, & Bonding Tour Begins

Thursday, September 30, 2021
Rep. Huot


Dear Neighbors,

I hope this finds you well and enjoying our fall season in Minnesota.

With the weather changing, I want to remind you about a few programs that can help our neighbors stay safe during the fall and winter months. The state’s Energy Assistance Program (EAP), for example, helps Minnesotans with heat, water, and furnace repairs. It was an honor to join the Minnesota Department of Commerce and Lieutenant Governor recently to announce the expansion of the program, making more than 600,000 households eligible for assistance.




Minnesotans who qualify for energy assistance may also be eligible for the Weatherization Assistance Program. It offers free energy upgrades to help homeowners and renters save money and ensure their home is a safe and healthy place to live.

Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule protects our neighbors from electricity and natural gas shutoffs during the coldest months of the year and it takes effect on October 1. My colleagues and I voted to add an additional two weeks in the fall and two weeks in the spring so that no Minnesotan goes without electricity or heat in our cold weather months.


2021 Bonding Tour Begins

This biennium, I’m serving on the House Capital Investment Committee, the group of legislators charged with compiling the “bonding” bill, the investments our communities count on for public infrastructure like public safety facilities, water treatment plants, community centers, public colleges and universities and more. Last year, the committee was able to secure funding for the Minnesota Zoo and the Rosemount Readiness Center.

Typically, every other year, the committee tours the state to check in with local communities about their requests of projects in need of state assistance. We kicked off our statewide tour earlier this month and stopped to connect with cities in Northwest Minnesota. You can find a full list of the stops from the tour here. In the coming weeks, we’ll focus on the Northeast, Southwest, Southeast, and Metro areas of the state. With interest rates low and our economy slowly recovering from the pandemic, now is the perfect time to make these critical investments and create good paying jobs for Minnesotans.





Pfizer Booster Shots Available for Eligible Minnesotans

According to the latest guidance from the CDC, you’re eligible to get a booster shot if you received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago and:

  • Are 65 years old or older,
  • Reside in a long-term care setting,
  • Have an underlying health condition categorized as high-risk by the CDC, and/or
  • Work in a high-risk setting.

Free vaccines are available at pharmacies, health care providers, community clinics, and more if you’re eligible. You can use the state’s Vaccine Connector to find a provider near you.

Booster shots aren’t yet authorized for people who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 



SMART Center Opens in Dakota County

Dakota County’s SMART (Safety and Mental Health Alternative Response Training) Center opened recently, and will serve as a training facility for crisis response and de-escalation training for law enforcement officers and other first responders to improve their interaction with people experiencing a mental health crisis. The 35,000 square foot center is also home to the Dakota County Electronic Crimes Unit and the County Drug Task Force. It was great to join our regional public officials to celebrate this new center that will help make a positive difference for our PD and neighbors.


Minnesota Zoo’s Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular

The Minnesota Zoo’s Jack-Lantern Spectacular is back this year and will run from October 1 through November 7. Monday nights are reserved for Minnesotans with mobility challenges and sensory needs. This fun, family friendly event has limited slots available, and tickets can be purchased online. Learn more here.



Keep in Touch

Please continue to reach out anytime if you have questions or need any assistance at or 651-296-4306. It’s an honor to represent our Rosemount, Apple Valley, and Coates families at the Minnesota House.

Take care,