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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, May 10, 2024

Friends and neighbors,   

With less than two weeks of the legislative session left, our work in committees is wrapping up and nights on the House floor have been growing longer.   

Last week, we passed our Children & Families budget bill off the House Floor. Last year, we made a historic investment in early care and learning, particularly among our lowest-income families, to ensure that every child in Minnesota gets off to a great start. Our work continues in the areas of child protection and child welfare, as well as homelessness and hunger in this year's supplementary budget.  

On Monday, April 29th, we “celebrated” Childcare Unaffordability Day on which a Minnesotan family of four earning a median income reaches 7% of their annual income spent on childcare. Relatedly, my proposal for the Great Start Affordability Program did not receive funding this year but, in partnership with the Walz administration and the agencies and advocates, we made policy improvements to allow a smoother transition next year. We know middle-income families are still struggling to afford quality childcare and I will continue to prioritize affordability and access in the next biennial budget.  

On the House Floor

The House continues to debate and pass supplemental budget and policy bills on the floor, covering important issues such as education, labor, housing, the environment, and more. Our work this year builds on last year’s historic successes and works to improve the lives of working- and middle-class Minnesotans. Recently, the House has passed:  

  • A broadly bipartisan bill investing $240 million in our outdoors, clean water, parks and trails, and cultural heritage from the Legacy Amendment fund.  
  • A K-12 Education bill that boosts resources for the READ Act to improve literacy, moves forward solutions for student wellbeing, and enhances support for teachers.  
  • An Environment and Natural Resources bill with new investments in tree planting, improving air quality, holding repeat polluters accountable, and tackling solid waste and recycling.  
  • A Children and Families bill that reforms our child protection system and builds on historic investments in economic support for families, food security, and emergency shelter.  
  • A Transportation, Labor, and Housing bill that invests in railroad safety and public transit, enhances worker rights and safety, improves housing stability for renters and seniors, and funds homelessness prevention.  
  • A Workforce and Economic Development bill, securing investments for employment and training programs,  
  • A Taxes bill improving the tax system for working class Minnesotans by expanding the Child Tax Credit and creating a direct tax filing system.  
  • An Elections bill that strengthens our elections for local units of government. 
Transpo, Housing, Labor, Children and Families, Enviro

We passed a Pensions and Retirement bill with bipartisan support, which prioritizes educators’ retirement security, improves our pension systems’ health, and strengthens the benefits retirees can expect. We also approved a bill addressing the “kidfluencer” industry that safeguards young content creators with protections for safety, fair compensation, and future financial security. 

We also passed a strong Tenants’ Rights Policy Bill, which includes provisions to safeguard tenants’ right to organize, protect tenant survivors of domestic violence, clarify tenants’ rights to emergency services, prohibit rental discrimination based on public assistance, and more. More details in the bill are included here


Passing Gun Violence Prevention Legislation

Last week, we passed legislation to help prevent straw purchases, require the safe storage of firearms, and require lost or stolen firearms be reported to law enforcement within 48 hours after they are known to be lost.  

Lost and stolen guns are often used in crimes or end up in the hands of those who may cause harm to themselves or others. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, roughly 266,000 guns were stolen across the U.S. per year from 2017-2021. Of these, only 3% were stolen from federally licensed gun dealers, while 95% were stolen from private citizens, equivalent to one every two minutes, and a quarter are never reported to law enforcement. 

We also passed legislation strengthening Minnesota’s laws around straw purchases, which occur when an individual buys a firearm for someone ineligible to purchase or possess them. H.F. 2609 updates the state’s straw purchasing law to increase the penalty from a gross misdemeanor to a felony. 

Finally, we passed H.F. 4300, which requires the safe storage of firearms, an important step to prevent access by children and others who should not have access to guns. This bill requires firearms be stored either unloaded and equipped with a locking device or placed in a locked firearm storage unit (e.g., a gun safe) or a locked gun room, where it may be either loaded or unloaded. The safe storage of firearms will save lives. 

All Minnesotans deserve to be safe in their communities, and this legislation is a step in the right direction. I was proud to vote yes on all of these bills. 

You can watch my remarks on the Safe Storage bill here.  


Connect India with IAM


Thank you to Connect India and the Indian Association of Minnesota for welcoming us to this wonderful event to share in multi-cultural community with food, music, and fellowship.

I am grateful to the many Asian Indian members of our community and state. We appreciate your contributions to a diverse and vibrant Minnesota. 


Join a State Board, Council, or Committee!

The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State recently released a notice of vacancies for various state boards, councils and committees that are accepting applications. Any Minnesotans interested in public service are encouraged to apply! There are positions for people from all backgrounds and professions, from cosmetologists to engineers.   

You can find the full list of vacancies here.   


Eden Prairie Seeks Students to Serve on Commissions

The City of Eden Prairie is now accepting Students on Commissions program applications for the 2024-2025 school year. The program is open to any high school junior or senior who lives in Eden Prairie. 

The Students on Commissions program is a meaningful way for students to contribute to their community in an official capacity, while gaining valuable insight about municipal government. 

Students can apply to serve on one of the following commissions: 

Applications are due on Friday, May 24. 



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?