Woodbury voters returned state Rep. Andrea Kieffer to office last fall.
But as the DFL took control of both chambers at the Minnesota Legislature, the Woodbury Republican will have to change offices at the Capitol before her second term starts next week.
“That’s just how it works,” Kieffer said.
Still, following talks with local DFL lawmakers—Sen.-elect Susan Kent and Rep.-elect JoAnn Ward—she doesn’t expect to see drastic changes this session, and hopes legislators work across the aisle.
“At least we’ll have an honest discussion and make sure we’re doing the right things,” Kieffer told Patch on Thursday. “We can’t keep turning the ship 180 degrees every time there’s a legislative change.”
The 2013 legislative session begins Tuesday, Jan. 8.
Kieffer, whose House District 53B includes the bulk of Woodbury, has been assigned to three committees:
- Jobs and Economic Development Finance and Policy
- Labor, Workplace, and Regulated Industries
- Public Safety Finance and Policy
The Labor committee is new this year, Kieffer said, and there will be “a lot of interesting ideas coming through there.”
It will likely tackle the state’s minimum wage at some point this session, she said, though Kieffer added that she will have to do some research and talk to business owners before weighing in on the matter.
Job creation will once again be one of her top priorities this session, Kieffer said. “The key is to get as many people working as we possibly can.”
The Legislature will also have to examine how initiatives at the federal level—most notably the recent deal regarding the fiscal cliff—will impact Minnesota.
“You’ve got to be hopeful,” Kieffer said. “But you can’t keep compounding tax increases on people.”
Meet the Lawmaker
Kieffer will hold her first listening session of 2013 at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at the R.H. Stafford Branch Library in Woodbury.