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

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Legislative Update - Tonight's Town Hall

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Rep. Kotyza-Witthuhn

Dear Neighbors, 

We’re about halfway through this year’s legislative session, and as our work really starts to ramp up, I wanted to provide the opportunity to check in with you. Today, March 16, I’ll be joining Sen. Cwodzinski and Rep. Pryor for a Virtual Town Hall to provide an update on our work and answer your questions. We’ll be streaming on my Facebook page, and you can submit questions ahead of time here


I hope you can join us! 



New Guidelines for Businesses and Gatherings

Vaccines are being administered ahead of schedule in Minnesota, thanks in large part to those who are eligible in our community doing their part to get the shot to protect themselves and their neighbors. With more Minnesotans safely vaccinated, updated guidelines for businesses and gatherings have gone into effect.

New Business & Gathering Guidelines

This is welcome news, and one of the biggest steps towards normalcy that we’ve taken since the start of the pandemic. It’s important we don’t lose the progress we’ve made and continue to follow the public health best practices that have kept us healthy - social distancing, washing our hands, and wearing a mask (or two!). 

You can read up on the specifics of the new guidelines here



Bills for Early Childhood

Last Thursday’s hearing in the House Early Childhood Finance and Policy Committee was a big one - with three of my bills taking up the schedule.

  • House File 1293 would provide scholarships of up to $7,500 for early education programs for eligible children, because cost shouldn’t be a barrier to a strong educational foundation. 
  • House File 911 includes Governor Walz’s proposal to support the tribal Head Start programs. The purpose of Head Start is to help low-income families break the cycle of poverty by promoting economic self-sufficiency and to prepare low-income children to enter kindergarten confidently, with the social, physical, emotional, and cognitive skills and competencies necessary for success in school. 
  • House File 1568 directs the Minnesota Department of Education to give a kindergarten readiness assessment to all incoming kindergarteners. Through ongoing collection and public reporting of data, we can see how well Minnesota children are prepared for success in kindergarten and work to close early gaps in opportunity.

I’m proud to say that all three of these bills have bipartisan support. You can watch Thursday’s hearing here



Vaccine Eligibility

With over 70% of Minnesota age 65 and older having received the vaccine, more Minnesotans are now eligible to get the vaccine - ahead of schedule. 

In his address to the nation last week, President Biden reiterated that all adults in the US should be eligible to receive the vaccine by May 1. A fun, healthy summer with our family, friends, and neighbors is within our reach - as long as we play it smart.

Now eligible

Minnesotans who are now eligible to receive a vaccine include the following:

  • People with certain underlying conditions, including sickle cell disease, down syndrome, and oxygen-dependent chronic lung or heart conditions, and those who are in active cancer treatment or immunocompromised from organ transplant
  • People with rare conditions or disabilities that put them at higher risk
  • Food processing plant workers


These groups will receive priority, but providers may offer available appointments to others who are eligible, including Minnesotans from the next tier:

  • People 45 or older with one or more of the underlying medical conditions identified by the CDC
  • People 16 or older with two or more of the underlying conditions
  • People 50 or older in multi-generational housing
  • Essential frontline workers, including airport staff, child care workers who weren’t previously eligible, first responders, judicial system workers, public health workers, U.S. Postal Service workers, and those who work in agriculture; correctional settings; food production, retail, or service; manufacturing, and public transit.

If you haven’t yet, I’d encourage you to sign up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Connector to get regular updates on vaccine availability and eligibility. In some cases, your employer will have more information on vaccine availability, and it’s a good idea to be in touch with your health care provider too. Vaccine supplies from the federal government are increasing, and this progress represents one more step towards the end of the pandemic.



Stay Connected

Regardless of whether you’re able to join us tomorrow for our virtual town hall, always feel free to reach out with any questions or comments you have on our work in the Minnesota House. The best way to touch base is through email ( or phone (651/296-7449). You can also “like” and follow my official Facebook page.

CKW Zoom

Senator Cwodzinski, Representative Pryor and I recently had the opportunity to speak with a number of SD48 neighbors who work in real estate. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and set up a virtual chat. I look forward to seeing you soon!

Be well.



Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn