Though snow is in the forecast, spring is here in district 48A. At the Capitol, we've had some long hours hearing policy bills before the first deadline. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting with people from the community to hear their legislative priorities.
Yesterday, Minnetonka Mayor Brad Wiersum and City Manager Geralyn Barone stopped by to talk about issues important to our community.
Constituent Karen Kraemer came by to discuss efforts to reduce tobacco use among youth.
Bankers Day on the Hill was also this week, and I got to hear about their priorities.
Town Hall Reminder
Please don’t forget about the Town Hall Meeting Sen. Steve Cwodzinski and I are hosting tomorrow at Minnetonka High School. We look forward to your feedback and questions, and hope to see you there.
WHAT: Town Hall Meeting
WHO: Rep. Laurie Pryor, Sen. Steve Cwodzinski
WHERE: Minnetonka High School (Forum Room), 18301 Highway 7, Minnetonka
WHEN: Saturday, March 24 from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
U of M Regent Selection
This week the Higher Education committee heard several proposals related to the process for electing members to the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents. As I mentioned last year during this process, the current system is problematic and politicized. When it comes to selecting Regents, we need to put aside party politics. We need a process that produces a board that reflects the diversity of the state and a board with the necessary skills and strengths to lead a complex university system.
As a U of M alum, I was pleased to see Alumni Association President Lisa Lewis testifying about this process, and how it needs to be more open and transparent.
Yesterday afternoon, the House finally passed a bill to deliver emergency funding to continue fixes for the Minnesota Licensing and Registration System (MNLARS). This followed passage in the Senate, and last night Gov. Dayton signed the bill. The new registration system, launched last year, had significant problems leading to excessive waits to receive vehicle titles.
Such poor performance is completely unacceptable. Minnesotans deserve systems like this to function smoothly, and when they don’t, they rightfully expect them to be fixed. The funding necessary to fix the problem, allocated yesterday, could have been allocated three weeks ago, a proposal that had my support. This legislative delay was unnecessary and costly in terms of losing time and losing highly qualified IT professionals. No more delays; let’s get this system performing at the level Minnesotans deserve.
Gun Violence Measures Stall
Earlier this week, my DFL colleagues on the Public Safety Committee attempted to revive a pair of common-sense proposals to reduce gun violence in Minnesota. One bill would close loopholes to the criminal background check system, and another would allow gun violence protection orders (GVPO) to temporarily remove a person's access to guns if that person is found to be a danger to themselves or others. These efforts were voted down.
Even though these measures stalled again, supporters are continuing to build momentum for change. Tomorrow students and advocates throughout the nation will participate in marches and rallies. We must continue our work locally and nationally so all policymakers know that it’s time to take action to save lives.
Please continue to contact me throughout the session. It’s an honor to represent you at the Capitol.