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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Anne Neu Brindley (R)

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New Laws and Scholarship Opportunities

Monday, July 22, 2019


I hope you are enjoying this summer weather as much as my family and I are! This update has some important new information on new laws going into effect on August 1st, along with a brief note on the dysfunction at the Minnesota Department of Human Services. 


Hands-Free Law

The Hands-Free Law goes into effect on August 1st. The new law allows a driver to use their cell phone to make calls, text, listen to music or podcasts and get directions, but only by voice commands or single-touch activation without holding the phone. 

At no time may a driver hold the phone in their hand unless it’s to obtain emergency assistance, if there is an immediate threat to life and safety, or when in an authorized emergency vehicle while performing official duties.

More information about the new law is available here.

Among the other laws going into effect are EpiPen administration, racially restrictive covenants on property titles, predatory offender penalties, and license plate fee increases. A full list of laws going into effect is available here

Chaos at DHS Demands Answers

The abrupt, unexplained departures of the top four officials at the Department of Human Services (DHS) in the past week—and then two of them “rescinding” their resignations— is deeply concerning and reveals a significant level of disorder at our largest state agency.

Prior to all of this, Carolyn Ham, the Inspector General for DHS, was put on paid administrative leave following revelations of inaction related to child care fraud. She has been on leave for four months, collecting $42,000 to date, and the investigation did not even begin until last week. This is unacceptable. 

Getting to the bottom of the issues at DHS will require transparency from the Walz Administration. We need to know what went wrong so we can figure out how to make this important government agency eliminate fraud and abuse of taxpayers’ dollars and work as efficiently and effectively as possible.

I joined a number of my colleagues in sending a letter asking the House Majority to hold hearings to get to the bottom of the mess at DHS. 

Apply Now for Workforce Development Scholarships 

This year, the Legislature approved a $7 million appropriation to the program. These scholarships are targeted to students entering the college in these areas: Agriculture, Early Childhood Education, Health Care, Information Technology, Manufacturing, and Transportation. 

These scholarships are available at ALL Minnesota State campuses, so I encourage all parents and interested students to look into this great opportunity to support your education and career interests!

Scholarships are available for this upcoming fall semester with many deadlines in early August. To learn more, click here.

Please Contact Me

Please continue to reach out if I can be of any assistance to you. You can reach me by phone at 651-296-5377  or by email at 

Have a great summer!


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