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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Shane Mekeland (R)

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Notes re: Independence Day and new laws

Monday, July 1, 2019



Here’s wishing you and your family a happy Independence Day holiday as we commemorate the birth of our nation and celebrate our 1776 Declaration of Independence. Please be safe out on the roads or on the water if your plans take you there.

Today is the start of the new fiscal year in Minnesota, meaning many of the finance bills from the 2019 session are now in effect. Two-year funding packages regarding everything from transportation to public safety, K-12 education and beyond are now on the books. Other topics of new laws include heart screenings and the state’s opiate response.

Click here for an overview of noteworthy changes. In addition, all laws passed by the 2019 Legislature are available at this link.

If you are wondering about the new law prohibiting people from using hand-held phones while behind the wheel, that will not go on the books until Aug. 1. So, as much as I encourage you to already be using hands-free methods, the law will not require you to do so until Aug. 1. That’s another month for us to figure out the best way to handle that change.

On a final topic, I want to mention that the Minnesota Department of Agriculture has rolled out the new Dairy Assistance, Investment and Relief Initiative (DAIRI) program providing financial assistance for small- to medium-size dairy producers. This program is designed to help cover the costs of a federal Margin Protection Plan insurance program. This year, the Legislature provided $8 million for DAIRI as a way to help ensure that our dairy farmers can continue to produce under razor-thin margins. Click here to apply or to find more information on how to qualify.

Until next time,


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