Greetings from the House, where I am proud to have accepted a pair of bipartisan legislative appointments for the 2019-20 biennium, including one to serve a task force on child protection.
The Legislative Task Force on Child Protection was created in 2015 to expand efforts regarding child welfare in Minnesota. It works with the Department of Human Services and others to establish and evaluate child protection grants and also identify areas within the child welfare system that need to be addressed by the Legislature.
I am honored to serve with this task force so we can work on solutions to help protect little ones who may be in vulnerable situations. This is a major responsibility for us as a society and I look forward to lending my perspectives as we take on significant challenges. I received the appointment from House Speaker Rep. Melissa Hortman, a Democrat from Brooklyn Park.
I also have accepted a position with the P-20 Education Partnership, which “works collaboratively to maximize achievements of all students, from preschool through elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education, while promoting the efficient use of financial and human resources.”
Minority Leader Rep. Kurt Daudt, a Republican from Crown, appointed me to this to the position. This appointment will allow me to draw from my background with the ROCORI School Board. I once again am honored to be appointed to this position and welcome the opportunity to help give our children the best possible chance to achieve success in the classroom and in life.
Committee on early childhood
On a somewhat related note, as a member of the House Early Childhood Finance and Policy Division, I have found committee meetings to start the session to be informative and thought-provoking. We recently received an overview of the Early Childhood Family Education program and I found it rather interesting that Minnesota is rare – if not unique – in that it requires parent educators to be licensed. We also discussed the Kindergarten Entry Profile, a voluntary standards-based assessment system. I have some specific questions about how KEP data is being tracked and reported and may circle back to this issue once I have some answers.
Pro-life press conference
I was pleased to join a number of fellow legislators for a recent press conference to support the pro-life cause while denouncing outrageous proposals have been put forward or passed in New York and Virginia that would legalize abortion up to the moment of birth. The Virginia governor even said that after a baby was born and resuscitated “a discussion would ensue between the physician and the mother.”
I will stand on the side of life and, in this case, you would think even many people in the pro-choice camp are looking at these other states as going too far.
On a final note, thanks to the Highway 23 Coalition for hosting an event this week to discuss goals for improving that roadway. While some improvements have been made to 23, much more work remains to improve safety and ease the flow of traffic.
Have a good weekend and, as always, your input on the issues is welcome.