People First – Elected officials are entrusted to represent the people of their district and the state. Unfortunately this is often forgotten in today’s political arena. As your State Senator, I will continue to listen, learn, and work together with constituents to help make southeastern Minnesota and even better place to live, work, and raise a family.
We are blessed with a quality of life in Minnesota that few states can rival. I ran for public office to help ensure that future generations have the same opportunities for success and productivity as those before us. The best way to accomplish this is to listen and work together with the people.
Education – As a product of Winona Area Public Schools, I know the necessity of publicly funded education and I will continue working to ensure our schools remain among the best in the country. Every child in the state of Minnesota deserves a high quality education and I am committed to making sure this trend continues. Our teachers also should receive the credit they deserve.
Education is essential to competitiveness and preparing generations for responsible citizenship in a free society. I will continue to work to cut costly mandates on our schools, advocate for more local control, work to have a fair and equitable funding model for all schools, and keep Minnesota's cutting edge history of reform and choice in place. Today’s students are tomorrow’s future.
Higher Education – I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with college students, faculty, staff, and administrators on a number of initiatives that will help make higher education even better in Minnesota. I’ve authored key reforms within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system to help make college more affordable. I will continue working together with our students, colleges, and universities to ensure our higher education systems remains among the best in the country.
We are fortunate to have some of the best agriculture land and farmers in the country right here in southeastern Minnesota. Farming and agriculture make our local economies prosperous and I will continue to work together with our farmers toward new uses, new markets, and value added opportunities to make use of agriculture products.
Our farmers are some of the most productive in the country and we need continue to help promote and celebrate that fact.
Job Creation / Economic Development – We have made tremendous progress on reducing excessive government regulations to help businesses invest in Minnesota and allow job growth by streamlining the permitting process, removing duplicated processes, and reforming government.
We need to continue working on policies that help create jobs and promote economic development in the great state of Minnesota. As the number of jobs in Minnesota increase, so does our quality of life.
Fiscal Responsibility – In January 2011, when I was first sworn in as a member of the Minnesota Senate, our state was facing a projected budget deficit of $6.2 billion and an unemployment rate of over 7%. Today, the state of Minnesota has a projected budget surplus and our unemployment rate is 3.7%.
We invested in government reforms that have already resulted in savings for taxpayers and improved services throughout the state. We have made great progress on becoming more fiscally responsible, but we still have work to do.
Larger government is not the answer. Better government is the solution.