Sen. Steve Cwodzinski Update: February 16, 2018

Week of February 12th – 16th

This past Wednesday, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School suffered a colossal tragedy; 17 adults and children were killed by gunfire from a former student. This disaster is part of a long line of preventable mass shootings, and has painfully revived the dialogue surrounding gun violence prevention.

We’ve had this conversation too many times for evil of this magnitude to resurface so frequently. America is averaging one school shooting perweek. It’s time for action.  Read More

Legislative Q&A: House District 48A Rep. Laurie Pryor

The following article by Patty Dexter was posted on the Eden Prairie News website February 15, 2018:

The 2018 legislative session convenes on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

The newspaper contacted Rep. Laurie Pryor for a Q&A previewing the session.

What are the biggest issues facing your district this session?

In talking to members of the community, their top of mind issues haven’t changed a great deal. Minnesotans are counting on the Legislature to ensure kids can get a great education, make health care affordable and accessible, build upon economic opportunities for the region, and invest in updated transportation infrastructure. I also hear from many folks about the need to protect our land, air, and water, and enact common-sense solutions to prevent gun violence. Read More

Legislative Q&A: District 48 Sen. Steve Cwodzinski

The following article by Patty Dexter was posted on the Eden Prairie News website February 15, 2018:

The 2018 legislative session convenes on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

The newspaper contacted Sen. Steve Cwodzinski for a Q&A previewing the session.

Right now, the thing I am hearing most about from my constituents is the federal tax bill, and the increased taxes that they will pay because of it. The cap of $10,000 for deductions of state and local taxes will massively impact residents of Senate District 48. I am hopeful that both DFLers and Republicans can come together to find a way to reclassify some state taxes and restore these deductions. Other hugely critical issues are affordable health care, Southwest Light Rail, environmental protection, and opioid abuse prevention. Read More

Rep. Laurie Pryor (HD48A) Update: February 13, 2018

Rep. Laurie Pryor (48A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

The legislative session kicks off just one week from today. Last week, a series of bills were “pre-filed” for introduction, a list of which you can see here. There are many issues requiring the Legislature’s attention in this short session, as we work to improve the lives of Minnesotans in both big and small ways. These include addressing potential consequences of the federal tax bill, passing a public infrastructure bill, measures to expand affordable health care, our new vehicle licensing system, and others. Feel free to let me know what issues are important to you and your family, and what steps you’d like to see taken about them.

I also wanted to remind community members about this Thursday’s workshop hosted by Girls United MN titled “Not for Sale: Standing Up to Sex Trafficking.” In my last update, I highlighted a bill drafted by Hopkins High Junior Jessica Melnik and her Girls United colleagues who have done exceptional work to both bring attention to this issue and create solutions. I’m honored to co-author this legislation. Read More

Eden Prairie High School hosts major party caucuses

The following article by Sean Miner was posted on the Sun-Current website February 7, 2018:

Republicans from an Eden Prairie precinct caucusing Feb. 6 at Eden Prairie High School. Credit: Sean Miner

Both major parties held their District 48A precinct caucuses at Eden Prairie High School Feb. 6. There, the parties elected local delegates, individuals were able to express views for their preferred direction for the party and each party took a straw poll for the upcoming 2018 governor’s race.

Precinct-by-precinct results have not yet been fully released, but the parties have noted winners in the straw pool. Republican Jeff Johnson and DFL member Tim Walz won in their respective parties.

Eden Prairie-specific data from the DFL was not yet available, but the Third Congressional District, of which Eden Prairie is a part, tallied 4,256 gubernatorial straw poll votes. Walz, with 1,301, was the district winner, followed most closely by Rebecca Otto with 1,150 and Erin Murphy with 1,024. Read More

Sen. Steve Cwodzinski, Rep. Laurie Pryor to introduce sexual exploitation bill

The following article by Patty Dexter was posted on the Eden Prairie News website January 30, 2018:

Minnesota State Capitol

Two local state legislators have been working together on bipartisan legislation to enhance current child sexual about curriculum in public schools to include sexual exploitation prevention.

The bill is authored by District 48A Rep. Laurie Pryor, DFL – Minnetonka, and District 48 Sen. Steve Cwodzinski, DFL – Eden Prairie and will be introduced when the next legislative session convenes on Feb. 20.

Read More

Rep. Laurie Pryor (HD48A) Update: January 29, 2018

Rep. Laurie Pryor (48A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

This coming session, I’m excited to co-author a bipartisan piece of legislation addressing sexual exploitation of youth. The bill will enhance current sexual abuse prevention curriculum in public schools to also include sexual exploitation. I signed onto the bill last week, and it was unveiled at a news conference this afternoon.

I was one of several legislators approached by Jessica Melnik, a junior from Hopkins High School and Founder of Girls United MN, after she and her friends observed one of their classmates being trafficked. Through working closely with Beth Holger-Ambrose, Executive Director of The Link, to find a way to address the crisis of sex trafficking in our schools, the idea for this legislation emerged. Read More

Sen. Steve Cwodzinski (SD48) Update: January 26, 2018

Less than One Mont Until Session!

Reflections on my first year, priorities for the second

A little over a year ago, I was officially sworn in as a state senator. Over the past twelve-and-a-half months, I have gained an appreciation for government that I could never have had as a civics teacher. Everyone who works here, be them legislative assistants or departmental staff, is incredibly committed to making the world a better place. In the classroom, I used to tell students the old adage, “laws are like sausages, you never want to see them getting made.” Looking back, I cannot believe that I spent 33 years saying that about some of the most dedicated and hard-working people I have ever met.

Every single person who works in this building, including those I disagree with, share a passion and enthusiasm for the work that they do. The legislative assistants are competent and friendly, the researchers put in long hours to provide information on even the smallest of bills, and the media department finds a way to make me look like George Clooney when I’m speaking on the senate floor. Then you have the nonpartisan staff, who physically write the bills that can be hundreds of pages long. Read More

Rep. Laurie Pryor (HD48A) Update: January 12, 2018

Rep. Laurie Pryor (48A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

I hope your holiday season was enjoyable, and that 2018 will be a great year for you and your family. At the Capitol, we continue to prepare for the 2018 legislative session, which starts February 20. Here is my latest Legislative Update.

Out and About

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Minnesota Backcountry Hunters & Anglers’ “Pint Night” at Unmapped Brewing in Minnetonka. I appreciated hearing their volunteer efforts to preserve and protect hunting and fishing habitats. I look forward to connecting with them in the future and learning more about their priorities. Here I am with member Mark Norquist. Read More