Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Congratulations to the Red Wing Public Schools and Community Education & Recreation for winning the Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Specialty Service Business of the Year!
In this week’s update, I wanted to provide you with some information on some available resources as well as fill you in on a few happenings and visitors at the Capitol this week.
There are a number of publicly available resources I’d like to share with you this week. These resources and programs can be very helpful and I urge you to call the numbers provided or learn more if you think you could benefit from them. Also, please feel free to reach out if I can be of assistance to your navigation of these programs.
Workforce Scholarships at Southeast Tech
Minnesota State Southeast Tech has eight workforce development scholarships of $3,500 available for students starting at SE Tech this fall. The scholarships are designed to assist students interested in filling gaps in our area’s workforce, especially those interested in healthcare, manufacturing, information technology, or agriculture. The deadline to apply is March 1 and winners will be announced April 1. Visit http://www.southeastmn.edu/index.aspx for more information on the application process and programs that qualify.
Last year, I authored legislation that created these scholarships and I encourage any interested students to apply. It is great to know that this program will help students earn valuable post-secondary credentials and degrees to prepare them for careers in high-demand fields.
Farmer Mental Health Resources
There are resources available in our state for farmers dealing with the stress and anxiety of making a living in agriculture. The Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline can be reach at 833-600-2670 x1 and is free, confidential, and available 24/7. The helpline offers trained staff and volunteers able to help farmers manage stress, anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts.
The Mental Health and Family Services Line is another option; its farm advocates and counselors can be reached at 1-800-FARM-AID. Also available is rural mental health counselor Ted Mathews, who works with farmers across Minnesota and can be reached at 320-266-2390.
I am proud to co-author legislation to provide increased funding to support these services and additional mental health counseling resources for farm families. The legislation immediately provides $150,000 in increased funding in 2019 in addition to providing $300,000 in years 2020 and 2021.
Resources for Seniors
Last session we passed the “Safe Seniors Protection Act” which included resources to help seniors and family members who may be concerned about telephone and financial fraud. The Minnesota Department of Commerce has launched an education initiative and fraud prevention kits for seniors called “Hang Up on Fraud” to help identify and prevent financial fraud. Family members can call the Department’s hotline at 952-237-757 if they suspect that their senior has been targeted or succumbed to a fraud.
In a committee hearing this week, we heard a story about a senior who received a phone call saying he had won a free trip to Florida but first had to send $1,000 to claim the prize. The senior mailed a check and when the family members found out, they contacted the hotline. Thankfully, the department was able to stop the check from being cashed, preventing this crime.
Thousands of Minnesotans may have unclaimed property (often items or monies left in safe deposit boxes). You can find out if you’re one of them at missingmoney.com or on the Minnesota Department of Commerce website at mn.gov/commerce. Searching is easy and free. You can also reach their staff at email@example.com or call 800-925-5668.
Visitors and Capitol Happenings
Despite the cold, there was a lot going on at the legislature this week, including visits from our community and multiple groups hosting their “days” at the Capitol. This week the Capitol and legislature hosted Opioid Awareness Day, Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities Day, and ABATE’s Biker Day. Thank you to everyone who braved the cold and made the trip!
Stopped by to chat with folks from Minnesota State College Southeast during Minnesota State Day at the Capitol.
Discussing agricultural issues facing farmers in our area with folks from the Minnesota Farm Bureau.
Sat down with MNDOT District Engineer, Mark Schoenfelder to discuss road and bridge projects throughout our district.
Staying in Touch
If you ever have any questions, comments or concerns regarding any issue related to state government, I encourage you to contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-296-8635. I value your input as it allows me to best represent our communities.
Have a great weekend,