The Hampton News: Helping To Build A Stronger Community Together.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Dual-Training Grants Program Now Taking Applications

The application window for dual-training grants is now open for Minnesota companies interested in participating in the PIPELINE program – a public-private partnership that connects high-growth industries with workers interested in learning a specific skill set. Sen. Matt Little (DFL-Lakeville) helped sponsor bipartisan legislation this year that invests $5 million into the dual-training grant program for the next biennium.
 
The earn-as-you-learn approach benefits employers and workers in four select high-demand job sectors: advanced manufacturing, health care services, agriculture and information technology. Sen. Little says he worked on the legislation this session and continues to advocate for the program in order to assist two growing industrial parks in his district.
 
"Both Lakeville and Farmington have large industrial parks which have struggled to recruit qualified workers. By supporting the PIPELINE Project and making sure local businesses are aware of this innovative approach to hiring workers, we're helping address the skills gap shortage across Minnesota, and in our own backyards. The economic vitality of many communities, including the south metro, hinges on the success of local businesses – and that's why I'm doing everything I can to reach across the aisle to form and support ideas that are good for all Minnesotans," said Sen. Little.
 
The application window runs from now through July 7. To learn more about the program and to apply, visit:http://www.ohe.state.mn.us/mPg.cfm?pageID=2196.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Sen. Matt Little urges Minnesotans to fight for internet privacy

Earlier this spring, Congress went after Minnesotans, and the rest of America's online activity – from browsing history, health data, financial information, online purchase data, app usage and geo-location, all of it is being recorded by internet providers and sold by them to the highest bidder.
 
The Minnesota Senate passed a provision with bipartisan support earlier this session to prevent this practice and protect Minnesotan's online privacy. Senator Matt Little (DFL-Lakeville) has been a vocal advocate of protecting online privacy rights, and raised the alarm on Twitter after the provision was mysteriously stripped out of the jobs budget bill last week. He volunteered to pony up $20 to any Senator willing to share their online search history. So far, no takers. (See the tweet here.)
 
"If politicians aren't willing to sell their own data, why are they so willing to sell yours? It is absolutely unacceptable that a bipartisan provision to protect Minnesotan's sacred online privacy was stripped out of a budget bill literally in the dark of night. The irony of this action isn't lost on me, and Minnesotans should be furious," said Sen. Little.
 
Little says the provision was stripped out during a closed door meeting of House and Senate conference committee members. He adds that without this protection, Minnesotan's online data is up for grabs. He encourages everyone to contact their locally elected senator and representative and ask them to bring back this privacy provision.
 
Learn who represents you at the Minnesota Capitol by visiting: http://www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts/
 
You can find Sen. Little on Twitter at @LittleSenator.

Friday, May 19, 2017

REAL ID AVAILABLE TO MINNESOTANS BEGINNING NEXT YEAR

Minnesotans will be able to get REAL ID compliant driver's licenses and ID cards next year under a law signed by Gov. Dayton this week.  
 
The law now allows the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services (DPS-DVS) to begin the process of meeting the requirements of the federal REAL ID Act.  DPS was prohibited from implementing any provision of the federal regulations under previous laws. 
 
The new law requires DPS-DVS to begin issuing licenses by Oct. 1, 2018. 
 
No action required at this time
A REAL ID compliant driver's license or ID won't be available until next year, so there is nothing for card holders to do at this time. And there is no need to get a new license unless it's time to renew an expiring license. If a driver's license expires before October 2018, individuals will renew in same way they do today.
 
The current situation
Minnesotans can continue to use their current driver's license as a form of identification to board domestic flights until Jan. 22, 2018.  
 
Minnesotans who plan to visit federal facilities, nuclear power plants and military bases will need to show an alternative form of ID in addition to their state driver's license. Contact the agency in charge of the location you plan to visit to confirm what alternative forms of ID are accepted.
 
With the passage of this law, Gov. Dayton today requested an extension from the federal government that "would allow Minnesota's current licenses to be used for all federal purposes, while we complete the steps necessary to provide REAL ID compliant licenses to Minnesota citizens." This would allow current Minnesota licenses and IDs to again be accepted at federal facilities and to be used for boarding commercial flights after January 2018.
 
When REAL ID compliant cards are available
Once REAL ID compliant cards are available, Minnesotans may choose a REAL ID compliant card or a non-compliant card when they renew or apply for a new license or ID. 
 
Because of when their driver's license expires, some people may choose to renew their license early in order to get a REAL ID compliant card once they become available. In that case, an extra charge will cover the additional months that the license is valid and extend the expiration date on the driver's license.
 
What DPS-DVS will do now
DPS-DVS will begin the process to meet the requirements of the REAL ID Act and the timeline outlined in the state law.  This includes working with the Dept. of Homeland Security to ensure compliance with the federal regulations and making changes to the DVS computer system.
 
What about an Enhanced Driver's License?
An enhanced driver's license (EDL) or enhanced identification card (EID) are among the federally-approved border-crossing documents required under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). EDLs and EIDs allow re-entry into the United States via land and sea from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean. According to the Dept. of Homeland Security, they are also acceptable for official federal purposes such as accessing a federal facility or boarding a commercial aircraft. Individual agency policies may still apply.
 
Minnesota residents are able to apply for an EDL or EID for $15 in addition to the standard driver's license fee.  Additional information and requirements are listed on the DVS website.
 
REAL ID background
Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act enacted the 9/11 Commission's recommendation that the Federal Government "set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses." The Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for official purposes licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards. States have made considerable progress in meeting this key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission and every state has a more secure driver's license today than before the passage of the Act.
 
More REAL ID facts and information can be found on the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security's website.
 
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
 
Driver and Vehicle Services Highlights
·       DVS 2016:
o   More than 1.8 million driver's license and ID cards issued
o   More than 1.4 million titles issued
o   More than 7 million vehicles registered
·       DVS' Public Information Center handled more than million phone calls and 80,000 email correspondences.
·       Web-based services include driver's license status check, registration renewal (tabs), and test scheduling.