It’s an honor to represent Eden Prairie in the Minnesota House of Representatives! I’m full of gratitude for the trust you have placed me to serve our community. Throughout the legislative session, I’ll be sharing these updates regularly to discuss what I’m working on and topics you may be interested in at the Legislature.
I am serving on three House Committees: the Early Childhood Finance and Policy Division (of which I’m Vice Chair), the Commerce Committee, and the Education Finance Division (you can follow this panel’s activity on Twitter here.)
The Great Start for All Minnesota Children Act
After taking my oath-of-office on January 8, I was eager to get to work right away. In fact, I authored the very first bill this legislative session. The Great Start for All Minnesota Children Act (House File 1) invests in prenatal care, home visiting for new parents and early development and care, especially for low-income children from birth to age 3. Research shows that investments in the first three years of life can make a huge impact in development. Every child deserves a great start to life and we all benefit when that happens.
This initiative is one part of the Minnesota Values Agenda, which comprises the first 10 bills introduced. Bills in this package include those seeking to expand education opportunities, lower health care costs, ensure economic security for families, and keep our communities safe. This isn’t an exhaustive list of the progress we’d like to make this session, but these are items that Minnesotans have spoken loudly about wanting to see. In the coming weeks, I’m confident there will be more to share on these issues.
The House Transportation Committee took a step for safety this week by passing a bill requiring motorists to use a hands-free device in order to talk on the phone while driving. Distracted driving has deadly consequences in Minnesota; an average of 53 Minnesotans are killed on the roads due to it every year. With strong bipartisan support, this is a measure which I hope can advance soon.
Transportation Chair Frank Hornstein and I attended the 11th annual Raksha Walk in memory of Shreya R. Dixit of Eden Prairie this summer.
Equal Rights Amendment
Another bill that moved ahead this week would add equal rights for women in the Minnesota state constitution. The measure, HF 13, of which I’m a co-author, would propose an amendment through this simple question on the ballot: “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that equality under the law must not be abridged or denied on account of gender?” The bill passed its first hurdle with approval by the House Government Operations Committee.
This amendment would be an important step forward in providing equality for all of Minnesota’s citizens. Another bill passed the Gov. Ops. Committee as well which would call on Congress to remove the deadline for the ratifying the federal Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
I hope you can attend the City of Eden Prairie’s Winter Blast on Friday, February 15th at Staring Lake Park. This is an opportunity for the community to come together to take part in many fun outdoor activities including ice skating, sledding, and other cold-weather camaraderie. The event was originally set to take place on 1/25, but due to the extreme, dangerous cold, it has been rescheduled. More information is available here. Stay safe and warm in our winter weather this week!
Stay in Touch
As your State Representative, I’m committed to being accessible so please don’t hesitate to contact me with your thoughts or ideas. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, call me at 651-296-7449, or connect with me on Facebook here. I’d also be glad to have you come visit in person.
There are plenty of other ways to stay connected with what’s happening at the State Capitol, too. The House Public Information Services office has a variety of resources, including streaming video of committee meetings and floor sessions, as well as the Session Daily newsletter. The House Website has other resources, such as the MyBills service to track legislation in real time. Don’t forget about televised coverage of the legislature every day on the TPT Minnesota Channel.
If you know anyone who may be interested in receiving these regular updates from the Capitol, be sure to have them sign up here.
It’s an honor to represent you in Saint Paul.