I hope you and your family are having a great summer. We’re blessed with countless opportunities to get outside and enjoy our state, so I hope you’re taking full advantage.
Cloquet Stormwater Infrastructure
Tuesday, I had the opportunity to join MPCA Commissioner Katrina Kessler, Cloquet Mayor Roger Maki and engineer Rachel Pichelmann to announce a $106,000 grant to update and expand the city’s comprehensive stormwater master plan. Efforts the grant will fund include identifying infrastructure inadequacies, specific projects to address localized flooding, and funding needed for implementation. The city’s share of the project is $26,000.
In recent years, we’ve experienced more storms, floods, and other extreme weather events with increasing frequency. Communities must rethink their approach to infrastructure – including stormwater management – to ensure our state is resilient to the impacts of climate change, but this is difficult and expensive work for cities to undertake on their own. We all need to work together to learn from our experiences, identify inadequacies, and ensure we’re making wise investments in public resources. To that end, this grant funding will be very helpful to people in Cloquet.
This legislative session, lawmakers invested $500 million in bonus pay for the frontline workers who put their own health at risk during the darkest days of the pandemic to keep our state moving forward. Workers in fields including health care, first response, child care, food, retail, and others are all eligible for additional pay. We know there is more work to be done to help workers and their families earn economic security, but these payments represent a strong token of appreciation for those who didn’t have the option to work from home.
The deadline is today, Friday, July 22 at 5 p.m. Learn about eligibility requirements and submit your application here.
Property Tax Refund Reminder
If you’re a renter or homeowner, you may be entitled to a Property Tax Refund, either through the Homestead Credit Refund (for which you can apply electronically) or the Renter’s Property Tax Refund program. Every year, many Minnesotans are eligible, but they just forget to apply because the process is separate from your annual income tax filing. You may qualify in 2022 even if you did not in previous years.
The deadline to apply is August 15. Learn more here from the Minnesota Department of Revenue.
Last year, lawmakers passed and Governor Walz signed into law a bill creating the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program (HHAP). The initiative dedicates $4 million per year to ensure every Minnesota firefighter has access to the education, prevention and care needed to handle a cardiac, emotional trauma or cancer diagnosis.
We’re already seeing the incredible impact this program is having on firefighters' lives across the state – with free health and wellness resources to protect our hometown heroes and their families. Learn more here.
This will be my last e-update this summer, as legislators – whether or not they are seeking reelection – cannot send emails or postal mailings from the Capitol in an election period. Still, I want to hear from you! Feel free to contact me anytime with your questions, comments, or if I can ever help. I’m still your state representative through the end of the year, so don’t hesitate to reach out.
You can also stay up to date with what’s happening at the State Capitol from the timely, nonpartisan resources offered by Minnesota House Public Information Services. You can subscribe to Session Daily which provides regular updates of legislative activity, watch live and archived floor sessions or committee meetings on YouTube, and check out informative publications with information about the legislature and our state government.