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Minnesota State Senate Banner

ISSUES

People First | Job Creation / Economic Development | Fiscal Responsibility | Education | Higher Education
Farming and Agriculture | Welfare Reform | Abortion | Gun Rights


People First – Elected officials are entrusted to represent the people of their district. 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.

 


Job Creation / Economic Development – We have made tremendous progress on reducing excessive government regulations to help businesses invest in Minnesota and grow jobs for Minnesotans 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%. Just over one year later, the $6.2 billion deficit turned into a $1.3 billion surplus and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.6%.

This was the result of less government spending and smarter spending. 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.

 


Education – As a graduate 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.

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 with local college students, faculty, staff and administration on a number of initiatives that will help make higher education even better and I look forward to continuing these efforts.

During my first term as a member of the Minnesota Senate, I successfully carried legislation to reduce spending at the MnSCU central office and pass those savings onto local colleges and universities.

I will continue working together with our colleges and universities to ensure our higher education systems remains among the best in the country.

 


Farming and Agriculture – My wife, Janel (Ellinghuysen), grew up on a farm Lewiston, MN and her grandfather continues to farm the land.

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. 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.

 


Welfare Reform – The State of Minnesota has one of the most lucrative welfare systems in the country and unfortunately it is often abused. The legislature worked on several reform initiatives to place stricter requirements on the process to quality for public assistance. These reforms are not intended to hurt those who truly need assistance, but rather to help prevent those who abuse the system. Our welfare system should not be a support structure for those who choose not to work; rather, the welfare system should offer aid and encouragement to people who have fallen on tough times and are working to get back on their feet.

 


Abortion – I am a pro-life legislator and believe life begins at conception and ends at natural death.

 


Gun Rights – I support our Second Amendment right that allows law-abiding citizens the right to keep and bear arms.

 

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