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Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan visits BSU and discusses child tax credit during visit to Bemidji

April 12 – BEMIDJI – Following recent events and initiatives,

Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan

and staff members spent their Thursday as Bemidjians.

Starting at Bemidji City Hall, Flanagan and local leaders gathered in the council chambers to discuss

the state’s child tax credit

and encourage Minnesotans to apply for reimbursement.

The credit was introduced for tax year 2023 and entitles families to up to $1,750 per child, with the average credit per family totaling $2,508. Such credit was introduced as a means to provide families with greater economic stability, Flanagan noted.

“Growing up in my family, programs like this helped us tremendously,” Flanagan said. “I understand how important it is for Minnesotans to get the support they need, but also deserve. And $2,500 can make a world of difference for families when there’s a flat tire, a medical bill or your child’s shoe size goes from five to five. a seven within a two-month period.”

During the current tax season, $458 million has been credited to families through the child tax credit, impacting 366,000 children. As part of a broader statewide tour, Flanagan and Governor Tim Walz felt it was important to inform communities that they may be eligible.

“There are more than 300,000 families in Minnesota who qualify for child tax relief and we want to ensure that 100% of eligible families benefit from this program,” she added.

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With Tax Day quickly approaching on April 15, Minnesota residents have the opportunity to file their tax extension using

form 4868,

which extends the filing deadline to October 15. Flanagan noted that there are plans to offer the child tax credit in future years as well.

“We need a large team with diverse perspectives and leadership to ensure that people across the state of Minnesota, but especially in this region, are aware of credit,” Flanagan said. “This tax season is truly a marathon and we are about to reach the 26 mile mark.”

Department of Revenue Commissioner Paul Marquart stated that the child tax credit could reduce child poverty by a third and lead to different results across the state.

“We have a vision to make Minnesota the best state for children in the entire country, setting a huge goal: completely eliminating child poverty in Minnesota,” Marquart said. “We know that if we do that, we will have such enormous benefits – and not just lifting families out of poverty – for the state overall in terms of higher educational achievement, a stronger workforce, a better economy, better outcomes in terms of healthcare and social justice. “

Mayor Jorge Prince of Bemidji,

Leech Lake Nation

Chairman Faron Jackson Sr. and

Red Lake Nation

Secretary Sam Strong also shared comments before their time at City Hall ended.

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“Both in the city of Bemidji and the state of Minnesota, we know that families have really faced some challenges in recent years, whether it’s inflation, child care or housing costs,” Prince said. “Our council appreciates the efforts to address these challenges and find ways to make a positive impact on the financial challenges many of our families are facing at this particular time.”

Flanagan’s next stop took her to

Bemidji State

Bridgeman Hall to tour various laboratories and workspaces used by students in the Department of Technology, Art and Design. Two grants awarded to the Minnesota State Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence – housed at BSU – prompted this visit.

The centre

recently received a $750,000 Drive for Five Workforce Initiative grant

from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The center’s allocation is part of a $20 million DEED workforce initiative that aims to train and place 1,200 workers in manufacturing positions across the state and impact 3,000 businesses within 15 months.

The center also received $111,622 in grants from DEED’s High Tech Kids for Robotics Teams and STEM Internships program. This grant is intended to expand high school robotics programs, expose students to STEM careers, and provide internship opportunities with a focus on underrepresented communities.

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Both grants align with the center’s mission to create a pipeline of manufacturers from school to workforce.

“The center is committed to strengthening the bridge between manufacturing and education,” said center Executive Director Jeremy Leffelman. “We strive to equip individuals with the skills and training necessary for success in advanced manufacturing careers, which will ultimately lead to family-sustaining wages, fulfilling employment opportunities and significant contributions to Minnesota’s economic well-being.”

Opportunities to collaborate with the center will continue as Red Lake High School students will be introduced to computer numerical control operations on

Wells technology

– a Bemidji-based manufacturing company – through internships funded by the grants.

“We hope we can start (students) with a formal education or an internship program,” said Tim Knudson, vice president of Wells Technology. “We are grateful for all the support we have received from the center.”

A tour of the center was just one way Flanagan was able to see the state’s work in action as her time at BSU ended and she moved on to her next Bemidji stops, the

Development Center for the Northwest Indian Community

And

AirCorps Aviation.

“My daughter says my job is to go on field trips and help people,” Flanagan said. “This was one of the best excursions I’ve had and I appreciate all the work everyone does here.”

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