The 2019 Minnesota Legislative Session gets underway at noon today. I’m so honored and fortunate to be serving a second term and I look forward to the work ahead. Here’s the view from my new office, room 571 of the State Office Building.
If you ever make your way to Saint Paul, I’d love for you to swing by and visit.
Town Hall Meeting
Thanks to all who attended the Town Hall Meeting on Saturday with Sen. Steve Cwodzinski, Rep.-elect Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn and myself. We had close to 200 engaged community members attend. The focus of the town hall was legislative priorities for the upcoming session. We discussed a diverse set of issues submitted by audience members with their comments. At the end of the discussion, those attending voted on their top three issues for the next legislature. The top vote-getters were health care, reducing gun violence, and climate change.
Late last month, House standing committee membership was announced. I’m honored to have been appointed Vice Chair of the Higher Education Finance and Policy Division. In this role, I’ll be working with my colleagues to renew our state’s commitment to both excellence and affordability at our state’s colleges and universities. We know that a quality higher education remains out of reach for too many Minnesotans due to high tuition, and along with it, unsustainable student debt. I look forward to the work ahead to expand opportunities for students to obtain a degree or career training that fits with their ambitions. The University of Minnesota, Minnesota State campuses, and private colleges have a tradition of excellence and innovation that shapes the future of our state, and this must be strengthened. It is an exciting time in higher ed., especially with a new president taking office at the U of M.
I’ve also been appointed to spots on both the Early Childhood Finance and Policy Division and the Education Finance Division. All of these assignments together make for a great opportunity to be part of shaping the opportunities available for our next generation to succeed.
Tracking the Legislature
I encourage you to follow all the happenings at the State Capitol when the Legislature convenes today. In the Minnesota House, we have a robust Public Information Services Office which offers streaming video of floor and committee hearings, “Session Daily,” a daily newsletter recapping legislative activity, a YouTube channel, and other informative resources. TPT’s Minnesota Channel also televises legislative proceedings Monday through Friday, and that schedule is available here.
Thank you again for the honor of representing you, and please keep in touch with your feedback, ideas and input. Please feel free to call or write anytime.