With just about three short weeks to go in the legislative session, here’s an update from St. Paul.
Town Hall Meeting
Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 12th as Sen. Steve Cwodzinski and I are hosting our next Town Hall Meeting. This time, we will gather at the Eden Prairie Library in the meeting room at 9:30 a.m. Please bring your questions and feedback about the issues that matter to you as we head to the conclusion of the legislative session. Everyone is invited, so make plans to attend if you’re able.
What: Town hall meeting with local legislators
When: Saturday, May 12 at 9:30 a.m.
Where: Eden Prairie Library, 565 Prairie Center Drive, Eden Prairie, MN 55344 (Map)
Who: Representative Laurie Pryor, Senator Steve Cwodzinski, members of the community
Yesterday, the House passed the combined E-12 and Higher Education bill. While I voted for the bill because of investments in areas like school safety, which were modeled after Gov. Dayton proposal, I’m disappointed by what was left out of the Republican majority's proposal. Significantly, the bill didn’t extend investments for voluntary pre-K education beyond next school year. It also doesn’t address growing special education costs for many districts, meaning our communities will be on the hook for more as state and federal responsibilities don’t keep up. The bill does virtually nothing to reduce college tuition or address student debt burdens. As this bill is reconciled with the Senate and Gov. Dayton’s priorities, I hope we do more to ensure our kids can get the world-class education we value.
Aside from the substance of the budget packages, one concerning trend is that legislation is getting packaged up into larger and larger omnibus bills. When finance and unrelated policy provisions are put together, that’s troubling. This year, the Republican majority is going a step further, bringing forward bills containing different subject matter, like the confusing case of Transportation and Health and Human Services being thrown together. This is unacceptable, and as these mega-giant-omnibus bills come forward containing hundreds of pages of different legislation, important details can be overlooked, and the public gets shut out of the process.
Preventing Gun Violence
We continue to hear from Minnesotans about their desire for common-sense gun safety legislation. I had a great meeting recently with constituents from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.