The 2019 session is underway. I was officially sworn in to office on January 10 and have appreciated all of the calls, emails and messages received over the course of these first three weeks. By working together, I know we can find reasonable solutions that reflect our community’s values.
I was grateful for the opportunity to hear from so many in our district on January 14 when we held our first Senate District 57 Listening Session. There was an excellent turnout and the input from community members was productive and helpful to me, especially as we lay the groundwork for this session.
There are a number of other issues around which I believe we can find common ground quickly. Securing affordable housing and health care, investing in our public schools, protecting funding for services for people with disabilities, ensuring our schools and public spaces are safe, and better securing our elections system – among other issues – should all be solved on a bipartisan, consensus basis. I know Minnesotans deserve an effective and accountable state government, so I’ll work hard to make progress on each of these areas and more.
I’m pleased to share I’m serving on the following committees: Education Policy; Energy and Climate Finance and Policy Division; Health and Human Services Finance Division; and Housing Finance and Policy Division. Our committees held their first public hearings last week, which were mostly informational presentations by state agencies to get new legislators up to speed on budget and policy issues (and provide updates for returning legislators).
THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON MINNESOTA
Hearings about climate change’s impact on Minnesota held by the House Energy and Climate Finance and Policy Division received robust attention. During the two-part hearing that took place Tuesday and Thursday, scientists and professors talked about how climate change has affected Minnesotans, how it will in the future, and what might be done to slow the effects. They focused upon the changes in four sectors — agriculture, cities, public health and biological resources — before shifting to how adaptation and resiliency could stave off the most dire predictions. Watch Tuesday’s discussion in full here and Thursday’s discussion here.
‘HANDS FREE’ CELL PHONE BILL MOVES FORWARD
Distracted driving is now the fourth most common contributing factor in traffic fatalities behind speed, impairment and fatigue. I participated in a bipartisan press conference on the first week of session to renew efforts for passing a ‘hands-free’ device law while driving in Minnesota. The proposed measure would still allow phone usage in a voice-activated or hands-free mode and in some emergency situations. House File 50 passed the Transportation Finance and Policy Committee on Tuesday with unanimous support, and has advanced in the Senate as well.
All Minnesotans deserve to be safe on our roads, crosswalks and bike lanes; this is the right approach to take to prevent senseless tragedies and injuries.
STAY IN TOUCH
Please always feel free to contact me anytime at 651-296-5506 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I appreciate your constructive feedback and ideas. You can also follow me and my work in St. Paul on my official Facebook Page here.
It’s an honor to represent you at the Capitol.