First of all, I’d like to congratulate our local high school graduates! This year’s seniors had to overcome unprecedented challenges to reach this milestone. You should be proud of this accomplishment. I wish you all the best as you take your next steps.
Update from the Capitol
As you may know, the 2022 legislative session ended recently. We passed a number of bipartisan bills in the final weeks of session, including legislation to:
Deliver bonus payments to Minnesotans who couldn’t work from home and faced higher risks of exposure to COVID
Replenish the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, which was depleted due to the pandemic
Secure more support and resources for veterans
Reform Minnesota’s liquor laws so small breweries, wineries, and distilleries can grow and compete with legacy brands
Provide relief to farmers impacted by the historic drought last year
Distribute unprecedented amounts of settlement money to address the opioid crisis
Fund nation-leading ALS research
I hope to add more items to this list soon. When the legislative session ended, lawmakers were close to finding bipartisan compromises in several areas. Many of us are still working to deliver support for students, improve public safety, reduce health care costs, and more. If Senate Republicans agree to return to the Capitol for a brief special session, we could finish this important work.
Frontline workers kept our state running during the darkest days of the pandemic. To thank these Minnesotans, lawmakers delivered $500 million worth of bonus payments. Hundreds of thousands of people can expect to receive a bonus, including health care workers, first responders, child care providers, food service workers, and retail workers.
Workers can view eligibility information and apply for bonus pay at frontlinepay.mn.gov/submit. Applications are due on Friday, July 22. Please share this information with co-workers and others who may be eligible.
Visit to Phoenix Farm in Hugo
I had a great time visiting This Old Horse: Phoenix Farm last week! This nonprofit organization provides care for retired racehorses and will benefit greatly from legislation I authored. My bill, which was signed into law last month, allows excess revenue from the Breeders’ Fund to be used for food, veterinary care, and training for retired racehorses. It will provide support to organizations like Phoenix Farm that help horses lead full and productive lives after their racing careers are over.
Free Park Day
Admission to state parks and recreation areas is free this Saturday! If you’d like to use this opportunity to explore a new spot, check out the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ ParkFinder tool. It has information about all 75 state parks and can help you find places with certain kinds of trails or facilities.
Upcoming Community Events
When I was growing up in the White Bear Lake area, I enjoyed going to community events with my family. I’ve been able to participate in some of the same events as an adult, and they’ve been just as fun! In my last column for the White Bear Press and Hugo Citizen, I highlighted some of the events that are coming up.
Two of those events are this weekend! The 46th annual Good Neighbor Days kicks off in Hugo tomorrow. It’s moving to a new location at Hainfl Fields, but you can still expect a parade, a carnival, a craft fair, and live music. If you’re planning to bike with your children this summer, I recommend attending the Kids’ Bike Rodeo at the White Bear Lake Public Works Facility this Saturday. From 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., families can get free bike tune-ups, helmet fittings, and information about bicycle safety.
I hope you and your loved ones can make it to some of these local events. I look forward to seeing you around this summer!