Our community is home to some of the busiest roads in the state with thousands of commuters passing through every day. The convenience of our community’s transportation structure increases the accessibility and value of our neighborhoods. Investment in our community’s roads, bridges, and infrastructure needs to be a top priority.
Parks and Trails
Our cities and county have invested in our local parks and trails, and I will continue to support these investments. These services enrich our quality of life, bring people together, and make our district a great place to live.
No Gas Tax Increase
Our current representative proposed and promoted a sizeable gas tax increase last year. With a budget surplus and dedicated revenue for highways and roads, there is no need to further burden our citizens with additional taxes. I do not believe increased taxes are in our community’s best interests, and hurt our most vulnerable citizens the most.
Many of our citizens are still facing underemployment or have left the workforce. I want everyone, and particularly those in our middle class, to have access to good, high quality jobs. I seek the creation and expansion of local businesses that generate employment in our district.
Taxes and Spending
Taxes are the people’s money and must be spent wisely. Spending decisions must benefit our whole community, not the interests or agenda of a few. I believe in responsible government spending - government should not grow faster than family budgets. We need to eliminate wasteful spending and put the financial health of our families first. We need to focus on tax relief for the middle-class and our seniors, as well as reduce the amount of debt that college students acquire.
MNsure, Minnesota's healthcare exchange was established three years ago with a commitment that Minnesota families would save on their healthcare costs. The opposite has occurred. Insurance rates went up 17% and 49% the past two years. For 2017, healthcare premiums are expected to increase in excess of 50%. Often, deductibles and out of pocket expenses are exceeding the increases in premiums. This program is failing Minnesotans by providing less care at higher costs. We need to reverse this trend. I will bring my small business experience to St. Paul and work diligently to reduce healthcare costs for our citizens.
Our community is home to one of the best school districts in the state, and I want our 5-star status to continue in the future. Our children and families are beneficiaries of some the best teaching in the state (thank you, educators).
Unfortunately Minneapolis and St. Paul schools are struggling with the largest achievement gap in the country. This tragedy must be overcome. We need out-of-the-box solutions from educators and others. I will work with all on this issue for the benefit of Minnesota’s children.
I come from a family of educators. My two sisters, a brother-in-law, both of my parents, and three of my grandparents are/were teachers. My wife Jan works at Bethel University. I have a deep appreciation for educators, and fully recognize the importance of education for the future success of our children.
No Taxes on Seniors' Social Security Benefits
Minnesota is one of only six states that fully tax social security benefits. Our state’s message to retirees is “we want you to move away to a more livable state.” Minnesota Seniors deserve better.
Women and men who have contributed their working lives in Minnesota should be able to comfortably retire here, where they have family, friends, and community ties. I support our seniors and I will work to repeal their tax on Social Security benefits.