Happy January! I hope the first weeks of 2020 have been good to you and your family. The 2020 legislative session begins in less than a month, on February 11, and I’ve been working to connect with people in the community to talk about what we hope to accomplish, together, at the State Capitol.
In the short term, I hope we can reach a consensus on emergency access to insulin for people who can’t afford to fill their prescription. It’s unacceptable that some diabetics are forced to ration their insulin due to its skyrocketing costs while Big Pharma continues to rake in massive profits. Rationing can have tragic consequences. All Minnesotans deserve access to prescription drugs they can afford. This includes insulin, which for people with diabetes, is as vital to life as air or water.
Another session priority will be a capital investment bill to renovate and repair buildings and other assets including colleges and universities, roads and bridges, parks and trails, wastewater treatment plants, and more. This week, Governor Walz announced his recommended proposals, and I’m hopeful lawmakers can work together to make robust investments in our shared infrastructure.
I’ve heard from several folks with concerns and questions about the upcoming deadline to obtain a Real ID on October 1. This federal program was enacted by Congress in 2005 and requires enhanced security features for driver’s licenses or ID cards to board a commercial aircraft or enter certain federal facilities. After a series of extensions from the federal government, full implementation is upon us. The Department of Public Safety, Metropolitan Airports Commission, and the airlines are all working to educate Minnesotans about the need to obtain this license. As an alternative, a passport can be used for domestic, commercial flights.
The state Driver and Vehicle Services office has more information here. If you’re encountering any difficulties, please let me know and I will do what I can to assist.
This year, Minnesotans will select candidates for President of the United States in a primary election. No matter your party affiliation, it's important to cast your vote and help ensure our government is representative of our shared values.
While the official primary election date is March 3, absentee voting is available starting tomorrow. This means Minnesotans can be among the first people in the entire nation to cast their votes. You can request a ballot to be mailed to you or update your voter registration here. The Secretary of State’s office has answers to a number of frequently asked questions about the new process available here.
Saturday, January 18 is the annual Winter Blast at Staring Lake Park (14800 Pioneer Trail). Each year, my family and I look forward to this wonderful event with fun for all ages and I hope to see you there. Activities include ice skating, sledding, snowshoeing, and art activities. Elsa and Anna from Frozen will be there, too! The Eden Prairie Rotary’s Winter Wellness 5K Run/Walk and 5K Ski will also take place that morning.
More info is available here.
Get Involved with Your City Government
The city of Eden Prairie is recruiting members for its six advisory commissions: the Conservation Commission; the Flying Cloud Airport Advisory Commission; the Heritage Preservation Commission; the Human Rights & Diversity Commission; the Parks, Recreation & Natural Resources Commission; and the Planning Commission. These are all great ways to get involved with our local government and contribute to making Eden Prairie an even better place to call “home.” The deadline to apply is February 3 and more information is available here.
Another opportunity to get involved is the City Government Academy, a free, six-week program offering Eden Prairie residents a behind-the-scenes look at how the city operates. The application deadline for this program is March 6. More information is available here.
Connect with me on Facebook
If you’re on Facebook, please “like” my page to receive updates I post periodically from the Capitol and our community. You can find my page at facebook.com/repcarliekw. Additionally, if you have any friends, neighbors, or colleagues who follow the Legislature, please let them know about my page by sharing it on your profile or invite them to “like” the page directly.
As always, I hope you will continue to contact me with any input, ideas, or feedback. It’s an honor to represent you at the Capitol.