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

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Legislative Update from Rep. Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn

Friday, March 1, 2024
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Friends and neighbors,   

It’s been an exciting few weeks since the 2024 legislative session began. While the weather outside decides between winter and spring, we’ve been hard at work building a better Minnesota. If you’re not already, don’t forget to follow my Facebook page to stay up-to-date! 

Here’s the latest from the Capitol. 



Honoring Fallen First Responders

Earlier this week, a public memorial for the three fallen Burnsville First Responders was held at Grace Church in Eden Prairie. I want to thank all of the people who helped organize this and made it a smooth event as thousands poured into the district to honor Paul Elmstrand, Matthew Ruge and Adam Finseth. My heart goes out to their friends, families, and Burnsville community as they grieve this heart wrenching loss.  


The Great Start Affordability Act

Earlier this week, we held a press conference to introduce the Great Start Affordability Act, which would lower the cost of childcare and early learning for Minnesota families. The bill, which I am the Chief House author of, increases the affordability of high-quality early care and learning for families with children from birth to kindergarten, aiming to meet the federal recommendation that no family pays more than 7% of their annual income for early care and learning.  


Currently, care for one infant is around $17,000 per year across the state. That’s more than a year of college tuition at the University of Minnesota. We shouldn’t be asking young parents, who are often at the beginning of their careers, at their lowest earnings potential, to shoulder this cost alone. 

The Great Start Affordability Act would make a monthly per-child payment directly to providers, reducing the amount families have to pay up-front. This ensures the assistance is received when it’s needed most rather than during tax season as a rebate. Payment amounts would be based on the family’s income, topping out at 150% of the state median income, which is about $175,000. About 85% of Minnesota’s families with children under the age of five would be eligible in some way on a sliding scale.   

Last session, DFLers took action to support Minnesota children and families with measures such as expanding Early Learning Scholarship availability, investing in building out our nation-leading Early Childhood and Family Education program statewide, making it easier for families to access developmental screenings and executive functioning skills, and raising the reimbursement rates for the Child Care Assistance program. However, nearly 75% of Minnesotans are ineligible due to having incomes above eligibility, but not enough to cover childcare costs without struggling. 

We have the opportunity with this proposal to make a huge impact on the lives of thousands of Minnesota families. Every family deserves access to quality childcare they can afford. The Great Start Affordability program will bring us one step closer to making Minnesota the best place to raise a family. 


Tax season update

DFLers have been making big moves to help working families, and you’ll feel some of the benefits this year as you file your 2023 taxes. During the first week of the 2024 legislative session, the House passed a technical corrections bill for the 2023 Tax Bill. This was our very first action on the floor this year because it will affect nearly all Minnesotans as we prepare to file taxes. This bill ensures all Minnesotans receive the return they’re entitled to. The biggest change from last year’s bill was updating how we account for inflation, and the adjustment will save Minnesotans around $300 million dollars as they file 2023 taxes.   


If you’re a renter, don't forget to claim your property tax refund! This is the first year renters will be able to receive this credit with their tax filing rather than later in the year. Along with making it simpler and more convenient, we also expanded the credit to many Minnesotans who didn’t qualify previously. 

Finally, nearly 300,000 Minnesota households are eligible for the nation-leading Child Tax Credit I authored last year! With our Child Tax Credit, families will save up to $1,750 for each dependent. Democrats are cutting child poverty by one-third with this rebate.  

You can claim the tax credit by filing a 2023 income tax return. The $1,750 credit is for each child 17 years old and younger, with no limit on the number of children. For all tax filers, this credit begins to phase out at an income level of $35,000 and fully phases out at a maximum of $90,750 for a family with four children.  

Minnesota families: If you qualify, file your taxes to make sure you claim the benefits available to you. 

Child Tax Credit (Gov. Graphic)


Closing Lending Loopholes

Earlier this week, a bill I authored was heard in the Commerce Committee, of which I am the Vice Chair. This bill has to do with lending institutions and would close remaining loopholes to cap predatory lending rates coming from out of state. This bill would require out-of-state lenders comply with the same lending regulations that are required for Minnesota Based lenders, preventing out-of-state lenders from evading Minnesota’s lending laws and putting them on equal footing with lending institutions here in Minnesota. The bill passed out of committee and is awaiting action on the House floor. 


Take my Legislative Survey!

The most helpful tool for setting my priorities at the legislature is YOU. Please take my legislative survey now through April 1 to make your voice heard. 




Keep in Touch

Unfortunately, due to technological constraints, replies to this newsletter won’t reach my email account.?? 

To share your input or ideas, or if I can ever be of assistance, please feel free to reach out email at or by phone at 651-296-6828. You can contact my new Legislative Assistant, Ella, at 651-296-3918 or via email at 

It is an honor and a privilege to represent you at the Capitol.?? 

All my best,?? 

Rep. Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn?