Rep. Laurie Pryor Update: August 8, 2017

Rep. Laurie Pryor (48A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

Starting this Friday, it will be an exciting weekend in St. Paul as the celebration of the State Capitol’s Grand Opening gets underway. Following almost four years of work on an intricate restoration, the State Capitol reopened earlier this year with the same glory it held when it originally opened in 1905. Simply, the results are breathtaking. Artwork which had deteriorated for several decades is now as vibrant as ever. Space available to the public has nearly doubled. Energy efficiency has been improved, technology upgrades have been implemented, and accessibility has been enhanced to standards of the present day. Read More

Sen. Cwodzinski selected for emerging leaders program

The following article by Sean Miner was posted on the Sun-Current website July 24, 2017:

State Sen. Steve Cwodzinski (DFL-Eden Prairie) was one of 50 selected to participate in the 2017 Emerging Leaders Program, sponsored by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

Held every year on the campus of the University of Virginia for a select group of state legislators, the program is designed to inspire and educate the country’s freshman elected officials. The four-day program took place July 10-13.

“I am incredibly excited to learn and gain the skills to become the best senator that I can be,” said Cwodzinski before attending. “It is an honor to be selected, and I will soak up as much knowledge as I possibly can during these next four days.”

Discussions examined qualities and characteristics of leadership like ethics, the arts of compromise and coalition building and the philosophical under-pinnings of representative democracy.

View the post here.

Session saw victories for Minnesotans

The 2017 legislative session, my first as a member of the Minnesota House wrapped up just about one month ago. Positive budget projections gave us the opportunity to support the priorities that make us proud to be Minnesotans.

In Minnesota, we value our strong public schools, affordable and accessible health care, abundant natural resources, and overall, the ability for every family to get a shot at prosperity in our economy.  We were able to move forward in some of these areas, yet in others, work remains.

All of our EE_12 sutdents deserve to have the resources they need to achieve in the classroom. Especially with a budget surplus, it was imperative that we deliver on this value.  I was disheartened by the House majority’s initial proposal to underfund our schools, not even covering the cost of inflations, and to cut voluntary pre-K. Read More

Rep. Laurie Pryor Update: June 30, 2017

Rep. Laurie Pryor (48A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

It’s been just about a month since the legislative session ended, and I’ve had more time to meet with community members. Sen. Steve Cwodzinski, members of Governor Dayton’s staff and I recently had the opportunity to visit with some members of the Eden Prairie Fire Department about the issues important to them, including safety and their pensions. I also had a terrific time at this past Saturday’s Minnetonka Ice Cream Social.

Read More

Veterans make excursion to Big Island

The following article by Tim Engstrom was posted on the Lakeshore Weekly website June 29, 2017:

Vietnam veteran Bill Cochrane of Eden Prairie, in white, gestures as he speaks with Virgil Vacek of Glencoe, center, and Jerry Tews of Dassel.
Photos by Tim Engstrom

ON BIG ISLAND — Despite being part of the negotiations for selling the veterans camp on Big Island in 2006 and despite being on the board that oversees the funds from the sale of the property, Tom Tweet of the Bloomington VFW Post had never set foot on the island.

Finally, on Wednesday, June 21, he did.

And he brought the commander of the Bloomington VFW, Doug Doerfler, with him.

“I really appreciate the opportunity to see what it looks like,” Doerfler said.

Tweet said the trip was good because of the connections the island has had with veterans over the years.

Read More

Reflections on an outstanding 1st session

The 2017 legislative session has truly been one of the most remarkable parts of my life.

For 33 years, I taught high school students bout how government works, and yet I am still awestruck by all the things I have learned in just five months. Much of what I have learned has been from my own constituents. I have also been incredibly impressed by how may of my former students have walked through my door. Read More

Legislature needs to commit to openness

For the third consecutive year, the time allotted by the Minnesota Constitution was not quite enough for the Legislature to finish its work. Despite a $1.65 billion surplus and a clear to-do list, another special session was needed.

Negotiations for this special session were between a handful of Republican legislative leaders and the DFL governor, leaving most of us legislators — and most of Minnesota — in the dark. Regrettably, this Washington, D.C., style of politics seems to be taking over in St. Paul more each year. At the 11th hour, sprawling budget bills turned up with harmful provisions inserted and good policies removed. When sleep-deprived legislators start voting on bills in late-night sessions, insiders usually gain, the public often loses, and no one is held accountable. Read More

Rep. Laurie Pryor Update: June 1, 2017

Rep. Laurie Pryor (48A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

I hope you all had a relaxing Memorial Day weekend. We can be grateful for the opportunity to reflect on and recognize the sacrifices made by brave Americans in our military and enjoy the time with family and friends.

The 2017 Minnesota Legislative Session ended last week. Because a full 70% of the state budget had not been passed before the constitutional deadline of midnight Monday, Governor Dayton called for a special session to finish the remaining work. Now that the dust has largely settled, I’d like to point out some of the highlights as well as lowlights. Read More

Rep. Laurie Pryor Update: May 25, 2017

Rep. Laurie Pryor (48A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

We are currently in day four of what was to be a one day special session to finish work on the state budget. After a few “extra innings,” so to speak, it looks like we may conclude the session today.

Late Monday night a framework for an agreement was reached between Gov. Dayton and Republican legislative leaders, and a commitment was made to finish the work by 7:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. This was clearly overly optimistic as the health and human services bill was finally released just this afternoon. Monday night, the Tax and E-12 education bills were passed, yesterday we passed a transportation bill, and left on the to-do list are HHS, state government finance, and bonding bills. Read More