Minnesota must continue to improve on our K-12 graduation rates and that means starting at the beginning with Statewide funding for universal access to early childhood learning. Kindergarten through high school must be funded to meet the needs of all school districts, including the funds needed for student transportation. We must ensure, to the best of our ability, that funding intended for classroom education not be used to bus students to and from school.
Our State is a decade behind on the infrastructure fix it list. Statewide infrastructure needs often fly under the radar until something breaks. A water main break or a bridge closure can give us renewed appreciation of how infrastructure propels both our quality of life and business environment. We must dedicate sustainable funding to meet our sewer, water and transportation needs in order to ensure quality living opportunities and our economic vitality.
I believe that access to quality affordable health care is a basic human right, not a privilege. Our transition to a single payer, universal health care system should logically begin with single payer because it is there that funding to help pay for universal coverage can be found.
As a Vietnam Veteran, I understand the many challenges faced by our Veterans and their families every day. I will continue to fight in St. Paul to ensure funding for Minnesota Veteran’s programs, job training, housing and transitional assistance. We need to care for those who have borne the battle and I will proudly continue to serve my fellow Veterans.
We must ensure the well being of our children, elders and families to the best of our ability. That means finding solutions to the problems that many people face every day. I want to expand funding for temporary homeless shelters and for affordable housing projects. The wheel does not need to be reinvented; the models for how to accomplish these goals are well documented. It simply takes our commitment to provide the resources to the communities in need.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT FUNDING
Local Government Aid, LGA, is the best way we know to keep local property taxes down across Minnesota where we have a high percentage of tax exempt lands. State LGA funding to our rural communities supports our basic needs including first responders, such as police and firefighters, which in turn support the quality of our day to day living, including the innovative small town businesses we depend on.
We need to ensure funding for universal access to broadband throughout Minnesota and we must maintain net neutrality. Rural access to internet services is necessary for the future of our education systems, businesses and daily lives.
Our second amendment must be preserved while we implement common sense measures to keep our families safe from those who intend to use firearms to do harm.
I have spent my 40-year career as a natural resources manager working to protect and restore environmental quality in Northern Minnesota. Our lakes, rivers and woods are a good part of why we live here, and our water rich resources are the backbone of our economy and way of life. I will continue to work for land, water and air quality management policies that focus on sustainability so future generations can enjoy what we call home.