Happy New Year, everybody! I hope you and your loved ones had an opportunity to step away from life as usual over the holidays, spend some quality time together, and count the blessings in your life.
The 2019 legislative session began Tuesday, January 8. I walked into our State Capitol that day bursting with pride knowing that for the next five-and-a-half months, “We the People” will pour our hearts and souls into the causes and issues we care about most. Minnesotans of all ages, genders, skin colors, religions, and backgrounds are getting involved in their government like never before. An active, educated, and informed citizenry is the best antidote we have against apathy and indifference.
When the 2018 legislative session ended last May, I called it a teachable moment. Many people and organizations left empty-handed and were rightly disappointed with the outcome of the Legislature’s work. Elected officials from both parties missed opportunities to incorporate federal tax changes into our state tax code, offer families new options for purchasing health insurance they can afford, and improve public safety by passing gun reform legislation, to name a few. While it is convenient to deem last session a failure, let’s keep in mind that it often takes a couple tries before achieving a goal.
That’s why I feel an unshakeable sense of optimism heading into the 2019 session. The spirit of democracy is alive and well. We the People exercised our civic duty at the ballot box this fall in breathtaking numbers, and now we get to work with a brand new Governor and Legislature to turn ideas from the campaign trail into smart policies that improve people’s lives. Chief among state lawmakers’ responsibilities this year is writing a new two-year state budget to finance our public education system, health care programs, and services provided by our outstanding state employees.
Most importantly, I invite you to participate in this process. Please visit me at the Minnesota Senate Building (Room 2319), call my office at 651-296-1314, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. My office sends regular email newsletters with the latest news and updates. You can subscribe online at www.senate.mn/senatorcwodzinski. I also post regular updates on social media. You can follow me on Twitter at @cwodMN and on Facebook at facebook.com/senatorcwodzinski.
On a final note, we are the only Legislature in the nation with divided power. Republicans will continue to hold a one-seat majority in the state senate, while Democrats regained control of the state house and have a 16-seat majority. What a wonderful opportunity to show our fellow Americans and the entire nation that in Minnesota, We the People can work together regardless of political affiliation and get results that will leave the world better than we found it.
I invite you to join me on this worthy endeavor. See you at the Capitol!