Rep. Laurie Pryor (HD48A) Update: May 11, 2018

Dear Deb,

We have just over a week left in the legislative session. We must adjourn by Monday, May 21, but no bills can be passed that day. Since we don’t reconvene until Monday, in essence, six days remain for legislation to be considered. In these final days, I’m committed to putting our community’s needs and values at the forefront. Here’s an update from the Capitol.

Town Hall Meeting

Here’s one more reminder about tomorrow’s Town Hall Meeting in Eden Prairie. With such a short time left in the session I’m deeply interested in hearing from those in the community, so I hope you’ll attend and share your thoughts with Sen. Cwodzinski and me. Read More

Sen. Steve Cwodzinski (SD48) Update: May 11, 2018

Week of May 7th – 11th

Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Day

Our nation celebrated Teacher Appreciation Day this Tuesday, and I am incredibly grateful to have spent my career working with some amazing educators. You can check out some of my thoughts in this week’s video by clickingHERE

This picture was taken during my first year of teaching at Eden Prairie High School!


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Sen. Steve Cwodzinski (SD48) Update: May 4, 2018

Week of April 30th – May 4

Governor Dayton Proposes Emergency School Aid

On Tuesday this week, Governor Dayton called for emergency school aid as many Minnesota school districts are facing budget shortfalls. Without aid, hundreds of educators and staff will be laid off at the end of the school year. I was honored that Governor Dayton asked me to speak at the press conference announcing his proposal, and you can view those comments by clicking HERE.

I even got a good laugh out of the governor during my speech. Read More

Rep. Laurie Pryor (HD48A) Update: May 4, 2018

Dear Deb,

Welcome to May, and I hope you get an opportunity to enjoy our weather this weekend. At the Capitol, we have just over two weeks left in the legislative session. This week I met Saja Osman, a junior at Eden Prairie High School, who was at the Capitol participating in the High School Page Program.

Other than meetings with legislators, pages assist legislators during floor sessions, hold mock committee hearings, and participate in other activities to develop leadership skills and to inspire them to think critically about the issues confronting our state.

Here is an update from St. Paul.

Omnibus Bills Take Shape

Yesterday, we considered a mammoth, disjointed finance bill with jobs, energy, state government, environment, and agriculture all thrown together. The bill that was passed also contained pages upon pages of controversial policy, including one that I think would make redistricting more partisan and more likely to favor incumbents. This policy prevailed over the plan I favored, which would create an independent redistricting commission to make recommendations to the legislature based on public input.

If the bill advances to the Governor’s desk in its current form with the many controversial policy provisions and harmful cuts to state agencies, the Governor’s budget commissioner said it would result in a veto.

Next up, all of the mammoth budget bills will be considered by a single House/Senate conference committee. Minnesotans deserve better. As things move toward the finish line, I hope there can be more transparency and accountability to produce better results for our state.

Increasing Funding for Education

Many school districts throughout the state are experiencing large budget crunches, and others, like Eden Prairie, Minnetonka and Hopkins, are having to dig deeper – millions of dollars deeper – because the state and federal responsibilities for special education aren’t keeping up.

Gov. Dayton released a plan this week to provide emergency, one-time funding for school districts across the state. The plan would invest $137.9 million to increase school resources by 2 percent in the coming year, amounting to an additional $126 for every student in Minnesota. Long-term, more work needs to be done to make sure every child has access to an equitable, excellent education, but for now, this is a great step to protect opportunities for students.

Public Safety Bill

On Tuesday, we considered the 2018 Public Safety bill. One glaring shortcoming has been the lack of action to prevent gun violence. Despite upwards of 89 percent of support for reasonable measures such as expanded criminal background checks and extreme risk protection orders, the Republican majority has allowed no progress on this critical issue. I shared my disappointment on the House Floor, and you can view my remarks here.

I don’t want to see more flags flying at half-mast due to tragedies caused by gun violence. We need to come together and deliver these common-sense solutions for our communities.

Small Business Week

Governor Dayton proclaimed Wednesday as Small Helps All Day, in commemoration of National Small Business Week. The United States has celebrated Small Business Week since 1963, which commemorates the contributions of entrepreneurs and small business owners. Minnesota has more than 503,000 small businesses, which employ approximately 1.2 million people. Overall, small businesses employ approximately 47 percent of Minnesota’s workforce.

To learn more about the tools and resources available to entrepreneurs interested in starting a business in Minnesota, click here. I’m committed to working on solutions to give small businesses the tools to grow and thrive in our state.

Town Hall Reminder

Don’t forget about the Town Hall Meeting Sen. Cwodzinski and I are hosting next Saturday in Eden Prairie. We greatly value your input, so I hope you can join us to share your thoughts on the issues that matter to you.

What: Town Hall Meeting with local legislators
When: Saturday, May 12 at 9:30 a.m.
Where: Eden Prairie Library, 565 Prairie Center Drive, Eden Prairie, MN 55344 (Map)
Who: Representative Laurie Pryor, Senator Steve Cwodzinski, members of the community.

Please continue to contact me with your viewpoints. Have a great weekend.

Sincerely,

Laurie Pryor
State Representative

Sen. Melisa Franzen (SD49) Update: April 27, 2018

Volume 4, Issue 9 — April 27, 2018

A weekly message from your Senator

Dear Constituents and Friends,

Curious as to what the Legislature is doing to align Minnesota’s tax code with major federal changes? So am I. The Senate Taxes Committee chair still hasn’t released a bill, with just three weeks left until the end of session. The House Taxes Committee chair finally released a plan this week and dubbed it the “Freaky Fast Bill,” admitting that the Legislature needs to move incredibly quickly to come to an agreement without risking automatic tax increases for at least 300,000 taxpayers.

The Governor’s plan has been out for nearly six weeks, and lawmakers have known since late December that this is a looming challenge. It is frustrating and disappointing that once again we are leaving the state’s most important business down to the wire.  A bonding bill is also yet to be introduced. A lot of work still needs to happen before we adjourn.  Read More

Sen. Steve Cwodzinski (SD48) Update: April 27, 2018

Week of April 23rd – 27th

Senate Takes Up Supplemental Budget

On Thursday this week, the Minnesota Senate took up this year’s supplemental budget bill. An amalgam of provisions from all subject areas, this is probably the most expansive bill of the biennium. For nearly twelve hours we had thought-provoking debates on a wide variety of subjects, and I would like to focus in on three of them in this week’s newsletter. These were our discussions on Southwest Light Rail, Gun Violence Prevention, and Academic Balance. The topic of Southwest Light Rail was the first of these to come up.

I cannot believe that we are still fighting over Southwest Light Rail in Minnesota. This year’s supplemental budget contains a provision that would effectively end the project, and forfeit one billion dollars in federal funds. I offered an amendment to remove this language, but it was voted down along party lines. You can view a video of me speaking to this amendment by clicking HERE. Read More

Rep. Laurie Pryor (HD48A) Update: April 27, 2018

Dear Deb,

Last Sunday I visited with the Minnesota Backcountry Hunters and Anglers at the neighborhood brew pub. They stressed their support for public lands, which was quite relevant this week as Wednesday was Support Public Lands Day at the Capitol.

With just about three short weeks to go in the legislative session, here’s an update from St. Paul. Read More

Sen. Steve Cwodzinski (SD48) Update: April 20, 2018

Week of April 16th – 20th

Continuing Work on Gun Violence Prevention

Wednesday was Moms Demand Action’s day at the capitol, and they organized another impactful day of advocacy to lobby legislators for sensible gun laws. I was visited by the single largest group of constituents that I have met with during my two years in office. We discussed background checks, gun violence protective orders, and many other ways that we can keep our society safer. Read More

Rep. Laurie Pryor (HD48A) Update: April 20, 2018

Today marks the third and final committee deadline, with budget bills moving out of their respective finance committees and on to the next phase before they make their way to the House Floor. As these bills come forward, I’ll be working to ensure they reflect our community’s values, with better investments in education, ensuring our environmental protections remain intact, and taxes that are fair for everyone.

Air Medal Veterans License Plate

I introduced a bill this week to create a new license plate honoring some of our distinguished service members. The bill, HF 4429, would add recipients of the Air Medal to those able to apply for a special license plate. The suggestion for this recognition came from my constituent, Jim O’Neill. Read More

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

Rep. Laurie Pryor (48A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

The legislature returned this week from a spring recess and the countdown begins before the required May 21 adjournment. Governor Dayton delivered a letter to legislative leaders this week outlining his parameters for a successful conclusion to the session, and last night the House majority announced their budget outlines.

Here’s an update from the Capitol.

Eden Prairie Chamber

Over the break, I met with members of the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce. The topic was workforce shortages. Here in Minnesota, our unemployment rate is as low as it’s been since 2000 and jobs in many areas are going unfilled. Read More