On The Issues
Early Childhood Education
- Kids entering Kindergarten should be prepared and ready to learn. We need to further invest in early childhood education so that all kids have the basic skills to start learning. Many kids who start behind can never catch up.
- Studies show that investments in early childhood education have a ten-fold payoff in economic return for Minnesota.
- We should protect early childhood funding from the deepest budget cuts.
- We have to focus, above all else, on student achievement. Do what works. Ditch what doesn’t. And try new approaches.
- We need adequate funding for our public schools so that all students have the opportunity to learn and excel.
- Past budget cuts resulted in teacher layoffs, larger class size, reduced range of classes, and elimination of extra-curricular activities. These cuts had real-life negative impacts on our students. I helped to reverse those cuts and stabilize school funding.
- I support accountability measures to help schools find efficiencies and cost savings.
Colleges and Universities
- A quality education system is the cornerstone of Minnesota’s economic success. We need to maintain our nationally known level of excellence as a center of higher learning.
- College should be affordable so that all students can reach their educational potential. We should aim to keep tuition costs down, and help to provide financial aid for families who need it.
- Businesses in Minnesota and across the nation rely on the high-quality graduates we produce. An educated workforce promotes our economic versatility, vitality and strength.
- We need to provide help for the thousands of hard-working Minnesotans who don’t have access to basic health insurance
- I support universal health insurance for children by expanding existing programs to eventually cover all kids in Minnesota.
- Children should have access to immunizations and other basic health care that will allow them to grow and thrive.
- I want government to rely less on unfair property taxes and more on revenue that’s based on the ability to pay.
- Adequate state funding of local services, like schools and roads, means less pressure on local governments to raise property taxes.
- In some ways, our tax system is lopsided – with our middle class paying more as a percentage of their income than those earning the very top incomes. We have to end that imbalance.
- I supported balanced investment in roads, bridges, and transit. We can creatively integrate roads, buses, rail lines, and bikeways to deal with increasing congestion.
- I‘ve made Highway 100 a top priority. The recent postponement of the permanent Highway 100 expansion until 2015 is disappointing. Although many of us worked hard to get the Department of Transportation to build a temporary fix, the permanent solution should come sooner rather than later.
- I support the Southwest Corridor light rail project, which will expand the light rail system to the western suburbs through St. Louis Park and Hopkins.
- I support transportation transparency. We have the right to know how, when, and where the Department of Transportation makes decisions about how to spend taxpayer money.
- Over 1,900 different lakes and rivers in Minnesota may now be polluted with mercury, dioxin, PCBs and other pollutants. When the state has to issue warnings that restrict our children from eating walleye, it’s time for action.
- I support cleanup and water pollution prevention efforts, including enhanced water quality monitoring.
- Minnesota can do more to become more energy independent. I support the expansion of “biofuels” and other forms of renewable energy options.
Supporting Workers and Their Families
- Thousands of Minnesota families are struggling to make it these days. These families need and deserve basic support, such as health care and childcare that are essential in their fight for self-sufficiency.
- I support job training and education for workers who have lost their jobs due to our changing economy.
- I’m proud to have voted for the first increase in Minnesota’s minimum wage in eight years.
- I support the right of workers to organize and to bargain collectively.
Jobs and Economic Development
- I support an economic development agenda that consists foremost of world-class schools, an efficient transportation
- I support targeted tax credits and other assistance to support job-creation and economic expansion.
- I believe that government can help businesses to survive and thrive through public/private partnerships and incentives.
network, and the empowerment of consumers.
Law and Public Safety
- I believe that homeland security starts with strong support for our “first responders” - police and firefighters.
- I’m dedicated to safeguarding and enhancing our consumer protection laws.
- I’m particularly committed to cracking down on identity theft. I authored the current Minnesota law which for the first time criminalized the practice of “phishing” – which is the use of fraudulent e-mails to obtain personal financial information.
- I believe in a sensible balance between the individual right to gun ownership and the expectation that our communities will be safe.
- I support new efforts to crack down on organized retail theft.
- Political leaders should show courage and honesty by being skeptical of budget gimmickry and accounting tricks.
- I will support a balanced approach to state budgeting, and a rejection of any irresponsible “no new taxes” pledges.
- Reform is a crucial part of responsible budgeting. We have to try new and creative ways to lower the cost of government without compromising the quality of basic services.
- I support campaign finance reform legislation to control and monitor the flow of big money into our elections.
- I want to make our campaign finance system more open and less dependent upon contributions by special interest groups.
- I want to make voting as easy and accessible as possible. I oppose efforts to throw obstacles in the way of Minnesotans who simply want to cast a ballot.
- I believe that we should allow local governments to experiment with Instant Runoff Voting as a way to strengthen democracy and voter participation.
- I support reform of our judicial selection process to ensure an independent and impartial judiciary.
- Being a legislator means more than being an “officeholder.” It means being a leader.
- A legislator should have the courage to do what he or she thinks is right -- even in the face of opposition and pressure.
- A leader should also have the courage to consider the needs both of his or her constituents and the greater good.
- In the legislature, distrust is worse than disagreement. Building trust can overcome many differences.
- Being effective in public office means working with people from all political viewpoints.