I hope you and your loved ones enjoyed a happy Labor Day this week, and have taken time to attend the state fair, backyard gatherings, or however you spend Minnesota summers as we remember the importance of the Labor movement in building and supporting the middle class.
Last week I had the opportunity to attend the fair and volunteer at the House Information Booth. I loved getting to connect with many of you and discuss your thoughts on the legislative session. I also had a chance to stop by the Youth in Government booth and chat with Chief Clerk Patrick Murphy. The Youth in Government program is a great opportunity for youth in grades 8-12 in Minnesota to learn how to become civically engaged in our state legislature.
Back to School Time
It’s back to school time! This year, we made historic investments for our children and educators.
Additionally, back-to-school time can also be tax savings time for Minnesota families who save receipts on school supply purchases. The Minnesota Department of Revenue wants to remind parents and caregivers to save receipts on school supply purchases to claim valuable K-12 tax benefits when filing their taxes next year. In addition, due to changes made during the legislative session, over 31,000 more Minnesota families will be able to claim the credit this year. Two tax benefits can help Minnesota families pay expenses related to their child’s education: the refundable K-12 Education Credit (income limits apply) and the K-12 Education Subtraction (no income limits).
Recent Community Events
During the interim, I am focused on being out in the community, meeting with constituents, and preparing legislation for the next session. Here are some August highlights:
I joined my House colleagues for two agriculture tours. It was great to get out of the committee room and meet the hardworking farmers who feed our state. During the metro leg of the tour, we visited Tamales y Bicicletas jardin urbane in South Minneapolis to learn about their winter greenhouses, which help expand the growing season in Minnesota and were funded in our 2023 agriculture bill. We also visited the Hmong American Farmers Association and the Good Acre in St. Paul. I was proud to author a bill for the Good Acre’s LEAFF program which helps support emerging farmers. Our Greater Minnesota agricultural tour included Twin Rivers Seed Farm and R.D. Offutt Company in Staples, Naima’s Farm in Alexandria, and Red River Valley Sugarbeet Association and American Crystal Sugar Company in Moorhead.
I had an educational experience while joining the Minneapolis Behavioral Crisis Response Team for a ride-along. Behavioral Crisis Response is provided free of charge for Minneapolis residents and can help if you or someone you know is having a behavioral or mental health crisis. In Minneapolis, the BCR team is staffed through a partnership with non-profit Canopy Roots. In this role, Canopy Roots “provides person-centered, culturally responsive crisis services to community members of all ages in Minneapolis.” They respond to 911 calls citywide in mobile vans operating 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. During my ride along I witnessed the team do wellness checks for individuals and talk to families who have loved ones experiencing mental health crises. I was impressed by the professionalism and compassion of the staff, and would encourage all Minneapolis residents in need to check out this resource.