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Northland legislators discuss priorities for 2019 legislative session

Ryan Juntti
Updated: January 10, 2019 05:29 PM

ST. PAUL - Tuesday marked the first day of the Minnesota legislative session, and Democrats have now officially taken control of the House.

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There are also some new and returning faces to the legislature as new legislators have been sworn in.

Over 100 state representatives were at the Capitol on Tuesday. One of them was Rep. Liz Olson, the Democrat who represents District 7B in the Duluth area.

"Were on the verge of just a new chapter as a community, and the work that I do as a state legislator is helping to ensure that bright future for everybody," said Olson.

Olson says the first 10 bills from the House Caucus will represent investments in education, infrastructure, and bringing down the cost of health care.

"Minnesotans care deeply about one another from all corners of the state, and we want to do something that really reflects that value of care," said Olson. 

Meanwhile Republican Sen. Justin Eichorn has cities like Bemidji, Walker, and Grand Rapids in his district. He says in the past Northern Minnesota has been ignored, so he doesn't want that to happen again.

"We're kind of in the fight for our lives in Greater Minnesota," said Eichorn. "The constituents in my district, they care about mining, they care about forestry, they care about tourism. You're going to see me working on a lot of policy that surrounds those areas, and making sure that those areas and industries are protected," he said.

Eichorn says the top five priorities for the Senate are tax conformity, mental health, school safety, child care access and affordability issues, as well as waste fraud and abuse in government.

"We're going to start introducing bills and then like always they're going to have to go through the committee process, we're going to have to get support from both sides of the aisle, and just keep working those bills as session goes on," said Eichorn.

The Senate convened shortly after the House on Tuesday.

But before legislators convened, volunteers with the Minnesota chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America gathered to advocate for gun reform.

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Ryan Juntti

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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