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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Chris Swedzinski (R)

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Update from the House

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Dear Neighbor,

We received the news on Tuesday that Minnesota has been granted a grace period by the federal Department of Homeland Security for implementing Real ID. This ensures Minnesota driver’s licenses can continue to be used to board airplanes for commercial, domestic flights and enter federal buildings until at least Jan. 22, 2018.

The state is in the process of coming into compliance with increased federal ID standards, which are aimed at strengthening public safety. House File 3, the bill to implement Real ID, was passed by the Legislature and signed into law earlier this year.

It is good that Minnesotans can proceed with their plans to board flights and enter federal facilities. I’m confident that Homeland Security will continue to work with us until we have Real ID-compliant licenses available in our state.

On another note, area families may qualify to receive a portion of the landmark $20.7 million in early learning scholarship funding the Minnesota Legislature provided in an education finance package enacted earlier this year.

Families with children ages 3 to 5 may be eligible to receive scholarships of up to $7,500 per child, per year, to help pay for high-quality child care and early education to help them prepare for school.

The Minnesota Department of Education indicates early learning scholarships must be used at a Parent Aware-rated program. This may apply to a licensed family child care; child care center, Head Start program, preschool, or school-based pre-kindergarten program.

The intent with these scholarships is to direct funding toward the people who need it most. Local families are urged to check into this resource and see if they qualify so we can help our children get off to a good start in their schooling. Here is contact information for scholarship administrators in District 16B counties:

  • Lac Qui Parle and Yellow Medicine: Prairie Five Community Action Council, Inc.: 1 (800) 292-5437
  • Lyon and Redwood: Southwestern Minnesota Opportunity Council, Inc.: 1 (800) 658-2444

I hope this information helps and good luck.



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