I hope this finds you and your family well. It’s hard to believe back to school season is already upon us! I’m wishing all our students a safe and successful school year ahead. Minnesota kids deserve high quality education, and the extra resources needed to catch up after an unprecedented year academically and emotionally, which is why it was so important to prioritize substantial investments in public education in our budget this year across the state.
Computers helped many families adapt to remote learning and screens have certainly become integral to our daily lives, so it has become especially important that we teach our kids to be smart users of technology. We know that excessive use and misuse of these technologies can have significant impacts on child brain development. With that in mind, I worked across the aisle and with experts in early childhood education to author legislation that was included in the final budget to limit individual screen use in pre-K and kindergarten and to provide a grant to teach digital well-being, which will empower students to be smart users of screens and technology.
Our kids won in this year’s bipartisan compromise; however, we must continue to work together- legislators, communities, parents, and families- to deliver the resources our students need to thrive and be successful in and out of the classroom.
Tax Benefits on School Supplies
As your family prepares for the upcoming academic year, many school supply purchases qualify for K-12 tax benefits to your 2021 Minnesota tax return. Save receipts from these purchases, including distance learning needs, and claim the K-12 Education Credit or Subtraction. You can learn more about these tax returns here. Here are some expenses that qualify for refunds:
Redistricting Process Begins
Redistricting happens every decade after the U.S. Census is conducted. Legislators use full and complete Census data to draw political maps that reflect how the population in Minnesota has changed. That means redrawing the boundaries of Minnesota’s eight congressional districts, 67 state senate districts, and 134 state house districts. At the end of the process, each one should contain approximately the same amount of people as other districts of its kind.
In the coming weeks, the committee will be hearing from people from every corner of the state. Residents of our district, the 3rd Congressional District, are encouraged to testify on Monday, September 13 at 3:00 p.m.
If you would like to testify or submit written testimony, please email email@example.com.
Main Street Economic Revitalization Program
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will begin accepting applications for the Main Street COVID Relief Grants Program on September 20th. This is a new bipartisan, statewide economic redevelopment program the legislature funded this year in the state budget. A total of $64,200,000 is available in grants for Minnesotan owned and operated businesses that can demonstrate financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will be distributed 50/50 between the Twin Cities metro area and Greater Minnesota. Learn more about eligibility and how to apply here. Don’t hesitate to reach out to my office if you have questions or need assistance.
Congratulations, Chief Meehan!
I was happy to attend Chief Meehan’s retirement celebration last week and would like to reiterate my heartfelt congratulations and thanks to him. His leadership of the South Lake Minnetonka Police Department over the past six years has been exemplary and he will be missed. I appreciate all he has done to keep our communities safe. Congratulations and best wishes, Chief Meehan!
Upcoming Town Hall in the Park- You’re Invited!
I hope you will join me at my 19th public town hall on Saturday, September 18th at 10 am at Badger Park in Shorewood. Community members are encouraged to register and submit questions in advance to my legislative assistant, Polly Cerkvenik at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m looking forward to connecting and hearing directly from you in person.
Keep in Touch
With the Delta variant on the rise, and the best evidence showing that the vaccines are excellent at preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19, please get vaccinated if you haven’t been able to already. Unvaccinated people should continue to wear a mask indoors in public or outdoors if keeping a safe distance from others is not possible. For more information about slowing the spread to keep yourself and others safe, click this link to the Minnesota Department of Health's website.
Thank you for the honor of serving our 33B residents and families in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Have a safe holiday weekend,