Friends and neighbors,
I am honored to once again be returning to Saint Paul as your State Representative for the third time. Being a public servant and working to put our families first has been and continues to be one of my greatest joys. I am thrilled at the opportunity to spend more time with you in person this session, either at the Capitol or here in Eden Prairie.
Things are going to be a bit different this time around. First off – we are back on site and the People’s House and the State Office Building will be open for visitors once again! And now, with DFL control of the House, Senate, and Governor’s office, we are poised to get things done for Minnesotans that have been sitting on the backburner for far too long. It’s time to do right by Minnesotans, and I’m not wasting any time.
Yesterday morning, the Protect Reproductive Options (PRO) Act passed its final committee hearing. We expect a final floor vote on the bill soon, which feels righteous as we approach the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. I’m proud of how the House and Senate have prioritized this critical proposal.
I was elected to serve my neighbors in Eden Prairie and folks across the state, and Minnesotans overwhelmingly support the fundamental right of individuals to make their own healthcare decisions. The recent overturning of Roe v. Wade sends a clear message that we cannot take these rights for granted.
This bill protects Minnesotans’ right to contraception, the right to carry a pregnancy to term, the right to abortion, and ensures the right to privacy for personal reproductive health decisions. It also prevents interference by anti-choice politicians who seek to enact or defend medically unnecessary barriers to comprehensive reproductive health care.
I am proud to be leading the charge as we deliver what the people of Minnesota want and deserve. We must act now to ensure a future State Supreme Court cannot take away the bodily autonomy of Minnesotans.
Politics have no place in a doctor’s office. To watch a bit of the hearing, click here.
On Wednesday, I chaired the first hearing of HF100 in the Commerce committee. We’ve heard from Minnesotans loud and clear: Minnesota is ready for legalization.
Our bill creates a safe, well-regulated, and legal marketplace, including best practices for consumer protection, health, and public safety. It also includes a robust expungement program, so people who have disproportionately been caught in the criminal justice system due to cannabis can move on with their lives.
Minnesota’s current cannabis laws are doing more harm than good, and over the last three years, DFLers in the legislature have worked and listened to build a Minnesota-specific model for cannabis legalization. Along with Representative Pryor and Senator Cwodzinski, I hosted a Community Conversation on Cannabis in Eden Prairie. I look forward to continued discussion and ensuring that our cannabis program is top-notch in the United States.
Another long-time priority for me and my House DFL colleagues is finally passing legislation to ensure paid family and medical leave for all Minnesotans. Paid family and medical leave will give workers time to be with their loved ones during the most joyful and challenging moments of their lives. We all know that the first weeks after birth or the new placement of a foster or adoptive child is a critical time for families. Currently, some Minnesotans are eligible for paid family leave through their employer, but others qualify for unpaid leave for these purposes via federal FLMA legislation. In a time where many families are struggling, this puts many in a difficult position. We are committed to providing greater economic security for working families and ensuring that our youngest Minnesotans get the great start in life that they deserve.
Once passed, the legislation will provide workers with up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave per year.
While on leave, workers would receive a percentage of their wages so that they can spend time with a new child, take care of a family member, or seek medical attention for themselves. The program will run through The Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) in conjunction with the Unemployment Insurance program, and it will be funded by small contributions from both the employee and employer.
Based upon the 2020 Census, Minnesota’s state district lines have changed. Your electoral ballot in November’s election would have reflected these changes. You can find an updated map of the new district here. The district number for the area I represent is now 49B, and we welcomed the “Golden Triangle” into our district. I am thankful for the opportunity to continue to serve our community.
If you are unsure about how redistricting affects you, this site will allow you to input your address to find your representative.
There are a lot of exciting things on the horizon this session, so be sure to follow my Facebook page for timely updates.
Please continue to share your questions, ideas, and feedback with me throughout the legislative session.
You can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-296-6828. You can contact my new Legislative Assistant, Ella, at 651-296-3918 or via email at email@example.com.
It is an honor and a privilege to represent you at the Capitol.
Rep. Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn