On January 4, the 2011 Legislative Session began and State Sen. Katie Sieben (DFL-Cottage Grove) was sworn into her second term in the Minnesota Senate.
“I’m honored to continue my public service and thank my constituents for allowing me to be their voice at the Capitol,” said Sen. Sieben. “I’ll continue working hard on behalf of our communities and reaching across the aisle to find common-sense, bipartisan solutions.”
Sen. Sieben was pleased in the first week of session, as one of his first official actions, Governor Dayton signed an executive order to enroll Minnesota in the newly expanded Medicaid program.
“Gov. Dayton’s actions will provide 95,000 Minnesotans with new or improved health care coverage, along with bringing in federal funding to help our struggling hospitals, including Regina Medical Center in Hastings,” said Sen. Sieben. “These federal dollars will reduce hospitals’ levels of uncompensated care, and thus help drive down health care costs for all Minnesota families.”
Sen. Sieben noted that one of her top priorities of the 2011 Session will be working to make synthetic marijuana illegal in Minnesota. She will sponsor legislation to this effect on the first day of Senate bill introductions.
“Just last week, we saw yet another Minnesota teenager experienced a medical emergency as a result of using synthetic marijuana,” explained Sen. Sieben. “The chemicals found in this product are hazardous to people’s health. Minnesota needs to step up and protect our kids by making this dangerous substance illegal.”
Additionally, Sen. Sieben echoed Gov. Dayton’s sentiments that balancing the budget in a fair manner, creating jobs, and improving government would be priorities in 2011.
“Minnesota’s $6.2 billion budget shortfall must be balanced responsibly and in a way that sets our state on a path for long-term economic growth,” said Sen. Sieben. “I’ll stand up for the middle-class families who have already been squeezed by increased property taxes and government fees. For Minnesota to prosper, families need to be successful. This means good-paying jobs in our communities, keeping college affordable, and providing a quality education for our kids.”
For more information, contact Sen. Sieben’s Capitol Office at (651) 297-8060.