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

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Our First Bills of 2020

Friday, March 6, 2020

Rep. Kotyza-Witthuhn

Dear Neighbors,

We’ve spent a good chunk of the past few weeks passing our first bills of the 2020 session off the House floor. All of them are impactful to the lives of Minnesotans, and were prioritized because they are time-sensitive or had been extensively vetted last session. Although we passed some of these bills, or similar proposals, in 2019, lack of action in the Minnesota Senate forced us to again prioritize these proposals that matter to Minnesotans. 


The Alec Smith Affordable Insulin Act

Our first bill to pass off the House floor this year would create a statewide insulin assistance program to help Minnesotans when they struggle to afford the insulin they desperately need. Minnesotans with diabetes would be able to apply and receive an emergency fill of insulin at a community pharmacy. In addition, they would be connected with options for long-term affordable insulin coverage. Alec’s bill would also cap co-pays for insulin at $30 per month for patients on state-regulated health insurance plans.

Insulin Cost Graph

Alec Smith passed away in 2017 at the age of 26 when he aged off of his parents’ health insurance and was forced to ration his insulin that he could no longer afford due to its high cost. Alec’s story is unfortunately not unique as 1 in 4 diabetics have reported rationing insulin, and we’ve lost two more Minnesotans to insulin rationing since the 2019 session. I’m happy to say Alec’s bill passed with bipartisan support, and I hope our colleagues in the Senate can move on this issue with the same urgency.


Gun Violence Prevention Legislation

Two bills we passed would establish common-sense gun violence prevention measures, similar to ones recently passed in Republican-controlled states. HF 8 and HF 9 would close criminal background check loopholes and establish extreme risk protection orders to help get weapons out of the hands of those who may otherwise hurt others or themselves.

These are bills that will make Minnesota safer, and with the news last week of the shooting at the Milwaukee Coors Brewery, there’s no reason to delay this legislation any longer. While we don’t have the magical solution to stop all senseless gun violence, I strongly believe these will help. I spoke to this issue on the House floor, which you can watch here.  


Paid Family & Medical Leave

Everyone deserves the ability to bond with a newborn, care for a family member, or deal with their own illness without risking their paycheck. I joined my colleagues on the House floor last night in passing the Paid Family & Medical Leave Act because too many hard-working Minnesotans don’t have the economic security to do just that.

This would provide Minnesotans with up to 12 weeks of leave, and would work similar to unemployment insurance. Workers with qualifying family events and medical conditions could apply for leave to take care of a family member or get medical attention for themselves. They would receive a percentage of their regular wages while on leave.

You can read more about this bill and this issue here


Eden Prairie Library

It was great to see everyone who came out for the reopening of the Eden Prairie Library! It truly is going to be such a great space for our community.



epl 2

You can find more information on the library’s hours and other info here


My Proposals

I have four bills currently moving through the committee process and others may still receive a hearing before the final deadline. HF 1, the Great Start for All MN Children Act, has passed through Early Childhood Finance and Policy and Health and Human Services Finance with hearings coming up in Jobs and Education Finance. HF 3369, the humane pet stores proposal, and HF 3627, a bill to add protections for seniors with reverse mortgages, both passed through Commerce and will next be heard in Judiciary and Civil Law. HF 3764, a proposal to strengthen child safety seat regulations for our littlest Minnesotans, will be heard in Transportation this coming week. 



group 2

Stay Involved

I had some more amazing constituents stop by to advocate for the policies they care about. We covered dental hygiene, organ donation, the humane treatment of animals, gun violence prevention, and more! Special shout out to those that came to discuss my bill, the Great Start for All Minnesota Children Act.

If you have an issue you care about, or questions on the legislative process, feel free to reach out to me with any questions, concerns, or ideas you may have. You can contact me at or at (651) 296-7449. For daily to weekly updates, I encourage you to “like” my official Facebook page or subscribe to these legislative email updates.




Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn

State Representative