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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dave Lislegard (DFL)

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Legislative Update - February 8, 2019

Friday, February 8, 2019
Dear Neighbors,
Last Friday I had the chance, along with Sen. Tom Bakk, to tour North St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity. Habitat is a wonderful organization strengthening our communities by delivering affordable housing opportunities.

Throughout Minnesota, scarcity of affordable housing continues to be a barrier for economic security for families. On top of that, businesses struggle to attract quality employees when there’s a lack of places for them to live. I’m committed to joining Habitat and other advocates to deliver strong investments in this significant piece of the American dream: a place to call home.
Monday night I had the honor to attend the Minnesota Commanders’ Task Force legislative reception. This event, consisting of the nine congressionally-chartered veterans service organizations, provided an opportunity to spend time with the brave men and women who provide the very blanket of freedom we all enjoy each and every day. It was my honor to attend.

Also Monday, I got to pick up Paul Bunyan’s Axe, finally back in possession of the Golden Gopher football squad. Ski-U-Mah!

FREE Tax Filing Help Available

Photo Credit: Minnesota Department of Revenue
Yesterday, I joined Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan, Minnesota Commissioner of Revenue Cynthia Bauerly and volunteers to highlight free tax filing assistance that many Minnesotans have available to them. Electronic filing resources are listed here and many folks are eligible, including those with low and medium incomes and active duty military. In-person help is provided through VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) or AARP Tax-Aide programs for people who meet certain eligibility guidelines. Assistance may be available for people who are age 60 or older, have a disability, speak limited or no English, or have annual income less than $55,000. Check with the Minnesota Department of Revenue here to find a location closest to you.
Taconite Municipal Aid
On Monday, I’ll have my very first committee hearing for one of my bills. The House Property and Local Tax Division will consider HF 324 to boost the amount of Taconite Municipal Aid our local communities receive. Our cities and townships need the ability to deliver quality public services without too heavy of a reliance on property taxes, and this aid plays a critical role in this. However, these amounts have been flat since the 1980s. My bill would increase the guaranteed minimum amount available to communities from this account, which consists of funding received through taconite production taxes paid by mining companies.
I’ll keep working to deliver these resources for our communities, and the hearing Monday is the first step in this.
Ending the Opioid Crisis

Our state’s opioid crisis continues to cause too many tragedies in every corner of our state. It’s ripping through communities, destroying families, and putting the very fabric of our society at risk. It’s our job as legislators to work with first responders, those in the medical profession, community leaders, educators, and others to develop solutions to save lives.
One of these bills would create an Opioid Stewardship Advisory Council charged with making strategic investments in comprehensive prevention, treatment, and recovery strategies. Funding for this would come from licensing fees paid for by pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors who, despite their massive profits, have been almost entirely on the sidelines as we work to end the opioid crisis. I'm proud to stand with the bill's chief author Rep. Liz Olson of Duluth in supporting this legislation. The bill has already earned approval from two House committees.
I’m grateful for your feedback and engagement as I work to put people before politics. Please continue to reach out to me via phone, email, or Facebook. It’s an honor to represent you.
Dave Lislegard
State Representative