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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn (DFL)

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Legislative Update - March 29, 2019

Friday, March 29, 2019
Dear Neighbors,
Over the last week, there were many visitors from Eden Prairie coming to advocate for a wide range of issues: from education and early childhood investments to chiropractic care, labor issues and the hospitality industry. I also had a visit from George Esbensen, our former Eden Prairie fire chief, and Ram Gada, representing the India Association of Minnesota. Not to mention, it was National Puppy Day!

Today, March 29, is Vietnam War Veterans Day. Yesterday, we had a resolution on the House Floor commemorating this day and thanking the brave Americans, many of whom we have in our community, who have served. 

Minnesota Values Budget
This week, the House DFL released the Minnesota Values Budget, a budget framework for the next two years. The budget makes significant investments in education, including historic investments in E-12 and a tuition freeze for our public colleges and universities, protects affordable health care, and helps ensure safe & inclusive communities throughout the state. Here’s a Pioneer Press story on the proposal.
In the coming days, we will see our House committees discuss all the specifics of our budget bills. Once they are passed by the full House, we will then work to come to a compromise with the Senate and Governor Walz. For my part, I’m committed to a budget that reflects our community’s values and will improve the lives of all Minnesotans.
The House last week took a big step forward to prevent distracted driving by approving HF 50, a bill to require all calls made behind the wheel to be in “hands-free” mode. Everyone on our roads deserves to be safe, but distracted driving plays a role in one in four crashes in Minnesota. Tragically, this has resulted in the death of an average of 53 Minnesotans every year.
One of the most vocal advocates for this measure has been Vijay Dixit of Eden Prairie, whose daughter Shreya tragically lost her life due to a distracted driver. When I voted yes for HF 50, I voted yes in memory of Shreya.
Sexual Harassment
In a strong, bipartisan vote the House also approved HF 10, a bill to strengthen protections against sexual harassment in the state of Minnesota. For too long, courts have upheld an unreasonable “severe or pervasive” standard which has made it extremely difficult for survivors to seek justice.
The #metoo movement gave a powerful voice to those who have had to experience reprehensible behavior in the workplace. This bill will go a long way to ensuring all Minnesotans can live and work in safe and respectful environments.

The chief author of the bill, Rep. Kelly Moller of Shoreview, has done a wonderful job moving this bill along, and it was good to offer congratulations right after the vote!

Organic Recycling Workshop
Last November, Hennepin County revised its organics ordinance, and starting January 1st, 2020, businesses must begin recycling organic waste. The Eden Prairie Sustainability Group is hosting a free workshop to learn about best practices, ask questions, and discuss resources to make this switch as seamless as possible. The workshop will take place Tuesday, April 9 from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Eden Prairie City Hall. For more information, call John at 612-767-1571 or via email at
Town Hall Meeting
Mark your calendar for Wednesday night, April 17, as Sen. Steve Cwodzinski, Rep. Laurie Pryor and I invite you to attend our next Town Hall Meeting. We will meet at Eden Prairie High School in the East Commons from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. We look forward to hearing your input and questions about important issues we’re discussing at the Capitol. The meeting is free to attend, and everyone is invited.
Please continue to contact me with your input and ideas. I value hearing from you, so please don’t hesitate to call or email me anytime. It’s an honor to represent you.
Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn
State Representative