Hello Friends and Neighbors,
It’s a busy and exciting time in Minnesota this week with the Super Bowl in town. It’s too bad the Vikings didn’t make it, but it’s still fun having all the activities and things to see in the Twin Cities.
In this week’s update, I wanted to let you know about a tax town hall, new scholarships for students seeking further education, a recent trip to UMD Medical School, and lastly, some news close to home.
Tax Town Hall:
Tomorrow, February 3, Minnesota state senators are hosting a tax town hall at the Zumbrota Public Library from 1-2pm. This is a great chance to learn about federal tax reform, as well as our tax relief bill we passed here in Minnesota last session. I'm planning on going, and hope to see you there. Here's a link to more information on the event.
Just last week, Minnesota State announced 400 scholarships worth $2500 each for students who choose to enroll in high-demand 2 or 4-year college programs in manufacturing, healthcare, and information technology. Funding for these scholarships comes from a bill I authored last session, HF 2374. The original funding was for $1 million and now businesses and Minnesota colleges are working together on securing matching funds in order to make an even bigger impact. This is an example of the state working in stride with other public and private entities to help Minnesotans; it’s awesome to see! I can’t wait to see students from around the state utilize these scholarships to make college more affordable, all while preparing them for successful careers in high-demand fields. That’s a win-win for all of us!
The deadline for applications is March 1. You can learn more and find the application by clicking here: southeastmn.edu/wfs
On Monday, I joined members of the HHS staff and research teams for a visit to the UMD Medical School. The majority of family practice physicians in Minnesota are trained at UMD and we were interested to talk with them about their experience and what motivates them to consider a practice in rural Minnesota. This is a vital program to ensure that rural Minnesota has enough doctors in the future to provide care close to home.
We also met with leaders from a number of hospitals to talk about the increase in mental health and addiction patients and the shortage of treatment beds. These are complex issues that the legislature will be discussing this upcoming session.
Condolences to the Lyle Mehrkens family:
I would like to extend my condolences to the family and friends of Lyle Mehrkens, who passed away on January 21, 2018. Lyle served in the Minnesota Legislature from 1978 to 1992; four years in the House and 10 years in the Senate. I reconnected with him this past year when I'd drop in to the senior coffee club that he was a part of. Lyle was a well-respected public servant. I send my prayers to his children Todd and Leah and his many friends.
Congratulations to the Red Wing businesses who were named “Business of the Year” by the Chamber:
- Arts: Sheldon Theatre
- Health & Wellness: YMCA
- Financial/Real Estate: Red Wing Credit Union
- Manufacturer: Red Wing Shoe Co.
- Restaurant: Smokin’ Oak
- Retailer: Sargent’s Nursery
- Specialty Service: Black Dog Animal Hospital
And, just yesterday, Lake City’s Taylor Heise was named one of the 10 finalists for Minnesota’s Ms. Hockey Award; congrats, Taylor! This is a huge honor, and we’ll find out in the coming weeks if she will take home the award.
Staying In Touch:
If you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding anything related to state government, please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com or 651-296-8635.