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Thanksgiving 2009 message
Thanksgiving Day 2009
Today is Thanksgiving. I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!
It is hard to believe how fast time flies. Things at the Capitol are already gearing up as we prepare for the 2010 Legislative Session. With the start of the session less than 3 months away, the agenda is full with serious issues, but none is more pressing than getting Minnesota’s job market back to good health.
Over 240,000 Minnesotans have lost their jobs during the recession so far - including many of our neighbors. Many people may be next. Many thousands have already exhausted their unemployment benefits.
The House Jobs Task Force, of which I am a member, met with economists, business leaders, employers and workers to develop strategies to move our state forward and get people working again.
A Legislative Small Business Caucus, to which I belong, launched a survey to gather information from small business owners about the obstacles they face and what state government can to do to facilitate a more favorable business climate. You can find the survey online at http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/smallbusinesssuggestions.asp
. I encourage every small business owner in our community to participate.
At one of our recent meetings, we were fortunate to hear from two of our local businessmen who made presentations about the unique challenges they face, including the rising cost of health care.
This month, I had an incredible opportunity to travel to Israel and the West Bank as part of a Minnesota legislative delegation. The trip was filled with unforgettable moments, but one of the memorable was a visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial and Museum, located at the foot of Mount Herzl on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem.
Our group, each of whom paid our own expenses, included State Rep. Bernie Lieder, who as part of the 102nd Division of the U.S. Army was among those who liberated the Gardenlagen concentration camp during World War II. During our visit to the Holocaust History Museum and Children’s Memorial, Rep. Lieder was honored with the privilege of rekindling the eternal flame and laying a wreath at a special ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance. It was an emotional tribute to one of Minnesota’s own Greatest Generation, and it was an honor for me to be a part of it. (see below on this page for the press release on the trip.)
As always, please contact me with your questions about any state government issue.
State Representative Sandra Masin
House District 38A
COLD WEATHER RULE MAY OFFER ASSISTANCE TO HOMEOWNERS AND RENTERS
If you’re concerned about paying your heating bills this winter, or are facing disconnection, you may be eligible to receive protection under Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule. In order to get protection under the Cold Weather Rule (CWR) to prevent your heat from being turned off, you need to contact your utility to apply for CWR protection. Utilities, such as natural gas and electricity, must follow the Cold Weather Rule under Minnesota law.
• Cold Weather Rule is only effective October 15 through April 15 each year.
• You must make and keep a payment plan with your utility. The payments do not have to be the same amount each month.
• If you can’t make your CWR payments, call your utility immediately to make a new CWR payment plan. If you do not make payments, your service may be shut off.
• Renters are qualified to be covered under CWR if you pay your own utility bill and the utility service affects the primary heat source of your residence.
• CWR has a Third Party Notice option if you need help reading or understanding notices from your utility. If you need help applying for the CWR, you may arrange for another person (i.e. friend or family member) to get a copy of any disconnection notices or other important information, at the same time you receive it. To sign up, call your utility for a form which will be filled out and signed by both you and the person you want notified.
For more information, call the Energy Assistance Hotline at 1-800-657-3710.