Friends and neighbors,
It’s hard to believe that it’s already March – this session is flying by. Thankfully, that means lots of great work is getting done. A reminder that Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday, March 12.
Spring is just around the corner! Here’s what we’ve been up to since my last update.
Last session, a bipartisan agreement was reached on the framework of legislation to invest in local jobs and projects throughout Minnesota, but like many important proposals, Senate Republicans chose to walk away instead of following through on negotiations.
Efforts to deliver on that legislation never stopped for DFLers, and now the Minnesota House has taken the first bipartisan step in finishing the business of 2022 by approving nearly $1.9 billion in investments for local jobs and projects throughout the state -- projects like the Minnesota River Watershed revitalization project at Bloomington Ferry Bridge and preserving higher education buildings and equipment at Hennepin Tech right here in Eden Prairie.
These and other projects are crucial to communities throughout the state, and ongoing delays cause costs to rise. This legislation requires a supermajority to pass, meaning the Senate, like the House, will need minority support to get this funding over the finish line. I hope you’ll join me in calling on Senators, especially Senate Republicans, to swiftly pass this legislation. We need to finish the infrastructure work of 2022 so we can move on to the pressing business of 2023.
As you know, improving childcare access and affordability across the state is one of my top priorities. This week, my Flexible Hiring bill HF 2106, had its first committee hearing. This bill gives childcare centers more freedom when hiring caregivers to ensure they are able to hire the best people to care for our children. This bill has received bipartisan support, with one of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle co-authoring the legislation. Lack of affordable and accessible childcare is a challenge for all Minnesotans, no matter our zip code or political beliefs and I’m glad we can work together on this and take care of our Mini-sotans.
The legislature is currently considering a series of bills to ban the use of “forever chemicals” like PFAS in an array of products that Minnesotans use every day. I authored one of the bills to ban PFAS from juvenile products so our kids are not exposed to these harmful chemicals through toys, mattresses, and other products designed for and marketed for infants and children. Study after study has shown PFAS chemicals to be linked to cancer and many other health issues as well as contamination in groundwater and local wells. There is currently no disclosure required for products containing PFAS so it’s hard to know just how much we’ve been exposed to. My goal is to keep our kids safe and healthy and our soil and water clean. It’s past time to take action to ban PFAS.
I am grateful for those neighbors who are able to make the drive to the Capitol and advocate for the issues most important to them. Over the last week or so, I talked Special Education with our very own EPS Director, Heidi Nistler, met with the Director of PROP food shelf and former representative Jenifer Loon to discuss Hunger Solutions and learned more about kidney transplants and the importance of recovery time for donors with Dr. Shannon Doyle. I also visited Smith Coffee and Café and gathered first-hand feedback on Paid Family & Medical Leave from the owners of one of our beloved local businesses. From homelessness to aviation and mental health to midwifery, our neighbors are knowledgeable and passionate on so many issues!
We also had an Eden Prairie High School student participate in our page program last week! Thanks, Neha, for your help!
|Don’t forget: Eden Prairie Spring Break starts next Friday, March 17th. Safe travels to those who will be visiting warmer locales - hopefully warmer weather will be here soon, too!|
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 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.
All my best,
Rep. Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn