Dear Lakeville Neighbors,
The 2021 legislative session officially started on January 5th as I joined 133 other state representatives being sworn into office during a mostly remote ceremony at the State Capitol and our State Office Building offices.
I am excited to represent Lakeville for another term in the Minnesota House of Representatives and am grateful to have earned your tremendous support in November. Despite a fair amount of money and spattering of negative attacks, we nevertheless were able to secure a historic number of votes and prevail again in all 12 precincts across the district!
With that said, now is the time to put election season behind us and get on with the business of governing. I will continue to collaborate, learn, and listen to viewpoints across the political spectrum. We all must remember that it is important to insist on honest, realistic and respectful dialogue. My door is open, and I will continue to work hard to represent the values of Lakeville families as best I can.
This year’s legislative session should be focused as we work to construct a new, two-year state budget. With a modest budget deficit, we must be mindful of taxpayers and the challenges individuals face with their businesses and family’s budgets. I will work to reform and cut wasteful spending, streamline the state budget, and make sure that government also shares in the sacrifice that so many Minnesota families and businesses have over the past year. Together, we can manage and overcome COVID-19 and bring back jobs and restore Minnesota’s economy.
Most of our work during the first months of session will take place in committee. For the 2021-2022 legislative biennium, I have been appointed to serve on the following committees: Higher Education Finance and Policy, State Government Finance and Policy, and again on the Transportation Finance and Policy.
On the Higher Education Committee, I will work on promoting the delivery of postsecondary education opportunities (PSEO), concurrent enrollment for young adults, and matching workforce needs and new job opportunities for adults looking to improve skills.
The State Government Finance and Policy Committee gives me the opportunity to work directly on government services and programs. With the state facing a deficit, I look forward to refining and reforming government to a more appropriate size and scope. Additionally, with jurisdiction over elections, this committee must work to improve needed election integrity and re-instill confidence in our election systems.
Finally, in the Transportation Finance and Policy Committee, this session will be my 7th year serving, I anticipate meaningful discussion on how the state should respond to evolving technology and more importantly, changing commuting and usage patterns in a post-COVID-19 economy. Transit safety also continues to be an important issue and I expect passage of the work we started last year.
Vaccine: Thankfully, there is light at the end of the tunnel as more vaccines become available. While doses remain scarce, the state nevertheless continues to ramp up its vaccination efforts. We all agree that the initial distribution has been disappointing, but we expect it to improve and more doses to become available soon.
On Monday, the Minnesota Department of Health announced a new community COVID-19 vaccine program that partners with local public health and school districts at nine locations across the state. The pilot sites will initially serve adults aged 65 and older, Pre-K through Grade 12 teachers and school staff, and staff working at licensed and certified childcare programs.
According to the announcement, a "small number of doses" will be available at each site for eligible Minnesotans, and appointments can be made by phone or online only for Minnesotans 65+.
Visit this website for more information: https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/
Emergency Powers: Once again, we voted last week to bring up the governor’s emergency powers for a full discussion and vote. As they have previously, the Democrat majority blocked those efforts so the governor’s unilateral rule will now continue, already having reached 10 months in the longest peacetime emergency declaration in state history. I was pleased that the Speaker of the House has listened to my suggestion that a committee be established to address reforming emergency powers laws with the creation of the Subcommittee on Legislative Process Reform.
I am committed to working to end the Governor’s emergency powers, restore the legislature as a constitutional co-equal branch of government, and make sure that Minnesotans voices are represented again with the legislature on equal footing with the Walz administration.
California Cars Standard: One final thing to keep an eye on this session is a move by the Walz administration and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to adopt the “California Cars Standard” through the administrative rulemaking process. This process completely cuts out the Minnesota legislature’s voice and the voices of Minnesotans we represent.
These standards would likely raise the price of vehicles for Minnesotans by at least $1,000.
The MPCA should not be taking orders from Legislators in California—the state with the dirtiest air in the nation. Minnesotans deserve a voice in this process and these standards should be rejected. The MN Auto Dealers association has a website for more information. www.driveawaycacars.org
Additionally, the MN Pollution Controls Agency will have hearings on this proposal, and you can chime in. Follow this link for more information on the hearings. Rulemaking: Clean Cars Minnesota | Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (state.mn.us) The hearings are Feb 22 and 23rd.
Please reach out if you have a comment, concern, or suggestion. You can reach me at (651) 296-6926 or Rep.Jon.Koznick@house.mn. Also, please forward this email to neighbors or friends that would be interested in keeping up with legislative business.
We will try to keep you connected on what is (remotely) happening here. Otherwise, I hope to see you around town, and I encourage you to support our Lakeville Area restaurants and businesses as much as you can. Be good to each other and be well!
State Representative, Lakeville, 58A