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

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Legislative Update - April 25, 2019

Thursday, April 25, 2019
Dear Neighbors,
The Legislature returned to the State Capitol this week following our weeklong recess to observe Easter and Passover. It was a good chance to spend time in the community hearing from neighbors, and I want to thank everyone who attended our Town Hall Meeting last week. I know I can speak for Rep. Pryor and Sen. Cwodzinski in saying we all deeply appreciate the involvement and engagement from neighbors like you. Hearing your priorities makes us all more effective in our roles in Saint Paul.

This week on the House Floor, we’re approving parts of our Minnesota Values Budget. Here’s an update from the Capitol on some of these.

E-12 Education

I was excited to support our new two-year E-12 Education budget on Tuesday with robust investments in our students, in and out of classrooms, across the state. Teachers, parents, students, and community leaders have all told us how important world-class schools are to our future, and this budget delivers in that regard. For Eden Prairie Schools, this means an additional $2.48 million in the first year, and another $2.04 million in the second year of the biennium. I was also proud of the inclusion of many elements of the “Great Start for All Minnesota Children Act,” my bill with bold investments in early childhood education, child care assistance, and resources targeted to families with children from birth to age three. Other elements of HF1 are incorporated into the Health and Human Services budget.


Our budget addresses Minnesota’s special education funding shortfall, protects access to voluntary Pre-K programs for 4,000 children, and empowers schools to hire additional support staff, such as licensed counselors, psychologists, social workers, and nurses. It also contains strategies to recruit and retain more teachers of color and expands students’ ability to earn college credits and develop skills through career and technical education programs.


Jobs and Energy

On Wednesday, the House approved a new Jobs and Energy budget. This bill will improve economic security for all, giving every Minnesotan access to Paid Family and Medical Leave and Earned Sick and Safe Time. It also includes measures like net neutrality requirements, protections against predatory payday lenders, and investments in vocational rehabilitation services. This session, I worked with WomenVenture on legislation to invest in an expanded innovative, cooperative childcare pilot program and business training to lift up female entrepreneurs and support children and families all across Minnesota. The Jobs budget included this provision.

A cornerstone of the Energy budget establishes a pathway to adopt 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2050. I've heard from numerous neighbors in Eden Prairie and others across the state, especially our youth, about how critical it is to act now on climate change. This transition would reduce the state’s dependence on fossil fuels and encourage clean energy alternatives. The budget ensures that electricity is reliable and affordable during and after the transition. New opportunities for utility consumers to conserve energy and save money by switching to cleaner electricity sources are also included.

Eden Prairie Park Clean-Up Day

This Saturday, April 27, is Park Clean-Up Day in the City of Eden Prairie. This is a fun opportunity to get outside and keep our parks, trails, and open space is in beautiful conditions. It’s also a great volunteer opportunity for service and youth organizations, and neighborhood groups. To get an assignment, email or call 952-949-8463 by the end of the day today.

Please continue to contact me with your input and ideas. I value hearing from you, so don’t hesitate to call or email me anytime. It’s an honor to represent you.


Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn

State Representative