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

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Legislative Update - July 30, 2019

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Dear Neighbors,
As the calendar is about to turn from July to August, I hope you are enjoying your summer. We have wonderful parks, trails and open spaces and with summer flying by, my family and I have been taking advantage of them as much as we can! My family has enjoyed seeing many of you out and about across the city this summer so far.

Here’s an update from the Capitol.


Coffee with Carlie

I hope you’ll join me for the next “Coffee with Carlie” this coming Sunday, August 4, from 2 – 3 p.m. We will gather at Smith Coffee (8107 Eden Prairie Rd), in their upstairs meeting space for an informal conversation about issues important to residents. There are no speeches or formal program, so you can come and go as you please. Everyone in the community is welcome! I deeply value hearing directly from you, so I hope you will come with any and all questions and feedback.


Hands-Free: Get Ready!

Coming up on Thursday, August 1, several new laws the Legislature approved this past session take effect. Included among these is the new “Hands-Free” law requiring phone calls or other use of a mobile device behind the wheel to be made “hands-free.”
In Minnesota, distracted driving plays a role in one out of five crashes, resulting in an average of 45 deaths per year. As many of us are eager to “stay connected” constantly, it’s important to keep our attention squarely on the road while driving.
For some of us, this will require changes in driving behavior. Some solutions include connecting to a Bluetooth device, using a dash clip, turning on “do not disturb” mode while driving, or, most effective, simply ignoring your phone and keeping it in your purse or pocket. In addition to being dangerous, after August 1 holding a cell phone while driving could be costly, too. The first ticket will cost $50 plus court fees and subsequent tickets are $275 plus court fees.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety has launched a public awareness campaign, along with a website featuring comprehensive information available here including some Frequently Asked Questions and fact sheets in four different languages. Let’s all commit to developing good habits behind the wheel now to not only avoid citations, but to save lives.


Night to Unite

In Minnesota, we can credit much of our way of life to having strong communities. The annual “Night to Unite” is next Tuesday, August 6, and the event gives us an opportunity to strengthen our communities even further. Join your neighbors at a block party and get to know one another over a burger, beverage, ice cream or outdoor games. The Eden Prairie Police and Fire Departments will be bringing squad cars and fire trucks to the parties, which is always a hit with kids!
I’ll be working to attend as many block parties as time will allow, so let me know if you’d like me to stop by yours. More information on Night to Unite locally is available here.
Please continue to contact me with your input and ideas. I value hearing from you, so don’t hesitate to call or email me. It’s an honor to represent you.
Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn
State Representative