Here’s to a successful and happy New Year

It’s hard to believe another New Year is upon us. When I was a kid, I remember my mother talking about how much faster the years go by the older you get. At the time, I’d roll my eyes and wonder what she was talking about. Now that I’m an adult, I know exactly what she means.

I’d like to take the time now to wish you and your family a happy, healthy and successful New Year. I think all of us enter the New Year with those same wishes for our friends and neighbors. In fact, those sentiments would make a good theme for the upcoming legislative session.

One of the primary goals for those of us in St. Paul should be ensuring that our policies and legislation are helping Minnesota families in their pursuit of happiness, health and success. In my legislative tenure, I’ve found that the best way to achieve those things is through investment in education - particularly when it comes to preparing younger children get ready to learn.

I’m excited about the prospects for the 2006 session. For the first time in over four years, we’ll enter the session without the worry of a significant budget deficit over our heads. Certainly, there are challenges in front of us. Affordable health care continues to be out of reach for too many. Struggles at large companies like Northwest Airlines and Ford threaten thousands of good paying jobs in the region. Increased global competition also demands even more creativity and dedication to improving our schools.

I’ll be holding town meetings in January with State Sen. Chuck Wiger and State Rep. Leon Lillie, of District 55A, to talk about the upcoming session and listen to suggestions from constituents about ways to address some of these challenges. The first meeting will be held Jan. 7 at the Ramsey Nursing Home Community Room, 200 White Bear Ave. in Maplewood from 9:30 to 11 a.m. The second meeting will take place in Oakdale on Jan. 21 at the Oakdale City Hall Council Chambers, 1584 Hadley Avenue, also from 9:30 to 11 a.m. I hope you’ll attend one or both of the meetings and share your ideas and concerns.

Thank you again for the opportunity to represent you in St. Paul. Please feel free to contact me about any issues facing the state. I can be reached at the Capitol at 296-7807, by e-mail at rep.nora.slawik@house.mn and by mail at 357 State Office Building, 100 MLK Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.

Happy New Year!

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