Why are you running for this position?
I am seeking re-election for this position in order to continue the work I've been doing on behalf of small businesses, farmers, families, across the district as their voice in St. Paul. I have been a tireless advocate for them on all sorts of issues and have been able to help them solve many problems that face them each day. During the COVID period I have helped people with business issues, unemployment issues, and health care issues quickly and oftentimes getting resolution the same day by working to solve problems and remove barriers.
What are the top three issues you would face during your term?
We are going to have a large deficit when we return in 2021, I will use my experience to help provide the necessary things for Minnesota and seek solutions based on my business experience and prior elected experience to balance the budget. Transportation is a key and addressing our infrastructural needs. I will also continue to be a voice to make our communities safe.
What is the role of the Legislature when it comes to needs like housing or healthcare?
I have been a strong voice on housing issues at the House. I have advocated for and passed measures that help people seeking to buy their first home be treated fairly and cost effectively. I believe that the Legislature helps set the ground rules for the way housing and health care operate and then lets the market forces and buying desires drive how things go from there.
What is the role of the Legislature in creating a healthy business climate in the state?
Once again, preparing the ground for a thriving business environment is about making sure that the appropriate regulations are in place and not allowing for over-regulation to happen. The tax climate for Minnesota is something that is crucial to address as I hear from business owners regularly that the taxes they pay are something that they look at as to whether or not they stay operating or stay located in Minnesota at all.
What transportation issues would you like to address during your term? I continue to work on the 212 battle. I authored a bill for direct appropriation for money for 212 and the House majority wouldn't even hear the bill. In addition to that we need to reenact the "Small cities" fund for cities below 5,000 and the township fund to help townships with transportation/road funding. Beyond that we need to invest in roads and bridges across our state, not just inside the 494 belt.
What circumstances would prompt you to vote across party lines?
There are actually more votes that are bipartisan than is reported in the media. For example I was pleased to vote for the Agriculture Bill that was authored by the DFL chair in the House. The measure of voting across lines is "is it good for all Minnesotans" and I have cast votes for bills from authors on each side of the aisle.
How should the Legislature respond to calls for public safety reform?
We need to make sure that solutions applied across the state are addressing state wide problems, and have their roots in good policy. I have worked as a member of the Public Safety committee to achieve reform and balance in support of law enforcement. We need to make policy decisions that are arrived at after working with all groups involved.
How should the Legislature respond to the pandemic?
This is a problem right now. I have said that currently the legislature's voice has been stifled by the governor. His continued emergency powers without the Legislature being the policy making body that we were elected to be is dangerous. The governor said that he needed the first months of the pandemic to prepare the state to move forward. He did, and now he needs to allow those powers to lapse and have the legislature work alongside him to address the needs of our state. Currently, we are relegated to being a minor part of the Minnesota solution to COVID.
Have you been charged in the past year, or ever been convicted, of a misdemeanor or higher, or been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy or foreclosure?