People come first.
My philosophy is simple: put the partisanship aside, listen to the people, and get things done. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together—results that come with the experience and relationships I’ve built locally and at the State Capitol.
I’m honored to have secured funding for the creation of the Rare Disease Advisory Council, which coordinates the study and treatment of rare diseases. I helped pass reforms that stabilized the individual health insurance market in Minnesota, bringing our premiums to among the lowest in the nation. I supported record funding for our schools—including investments in special education and career and technical education—and I secured tax breaks for individuals, families, farmers, and small businesses. And I’ve been an advocate for important local projects like the Lanesboro Dam, Education Village, Southeast Minnesota Veterans Cemetery, Southeast Minnesota Veterans Home, and the Wagon Wheel Trail.
We are blessed with a quality of life in Southeastern Minnesota that few states can rival. I ran for office to help make sure future generations have the same opportunities for success as I enjoyed—and we do that by listening and working together.
With a massive budget surplus as a result of the state over collecting from the taxpayers, I led efforts to put more money into people’s pockets every single paycheck, week after week, month after month, year after year with permanent ongoing tax relief. I also led the effort to fully eliminate taxes on Social Security income. It’s time our seniors get this much deserved relief, and I will not stop working on this until it gets done.
Despite our high quality of life, Minnesota is also home to one of the highest overall tax rates in the nation. I believe Minnesotans thrive by keeping more of their hard-earned money.
I supported targeted tax relief for middle class Minnesotans, senior citizens, small businesses, veterans, and farmers. I championed the Income Tax Reciprocity Tax Credit for Minnesotans working in Wisconsin, and supported the Ag2School program to level the playing field on agriculture land when it comes to school bond referendums. I also worked to reduce property taxes for farmers and small businesses, expand the Working Family Tax Credit, and ensure state conformity with federal tax law.
At a time when violent crime is at record highs, it’s important to support our law enforcement professionals and provide funding to put more good cops on the streets. More cops results in less crime. In addition, it’s important to get tough on crime by holding criminals accountable for their actions.
During my time in the Senate, I’m proud to have supported the largest investments in public education in state history. I also supported major reforms to streamline costs and ensure the best possible education for our most valuable treasures—our kids. I also led the way on initiatives like career and technical education, which provides quality on-the-job training for students in high school to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow—recognizing a four-year degree isn’t for everyone. I supported additional funding to help school districts cover growing special education costs and invest in safety enhancements, as well as an expansion of mental health resources for our students. I’ve also worked on initiatives to empower parents to be partners with educators in their children’s education. Education is essential to competitiveness and preparing our kids to be responsible citizens.
When it comes to higher education, southeastern Minnesota is a hub. That’s why I’m proud to be so involved with the tremendous staff and students at our area institutions of higher learning. I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with college students, faculty, staff, and administrators on several initiatives that will help make higher education even better in Minnesota, including legislation that makes college more affordable by expanding the state grant program and enacting a student loan tax credit.
Our region is incredibly fortunate to be home to the nation’s best medical facilities and brightest minds. I’m proud to be a champion for investments in innovation and research across the health care sector. I’m also proud to have led the way on a successful ‘reinsurance’ program that lowered Minnesota’s health care premiums. I was a sponsor of a series of bills that made reforms to pharmacy benefit managers by increasing transparency, so you’ll see more savings at the point-of-sale, and passed a bill to make hospital billing more transparent and easier to understand. I also worked to protect funding for our nursing homes and supported the landmark Elder Care and Vulnerable Adult Protection Act, which affords major new consumer rights to residents of long-term care facilities and licenses assisted living facilities in Minnesota for the first time.
I was honored to be the author of the ‘Super Gav Act’—a bill that provides newborns screening for rare diseases—in memory of Winona resident Gavin Quimby, who passed away at the age of five after a battle with metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD). I was also the author of the ‘Bridges to Health Care’ program, which provides resources to help disadvantaged students pursue careers in health care. I helped secure needed funding for nursing homes and disability services, worked with local disability providers on Region 10 Quality Assurance to help provide better care and long-term settings, and was the author of a program that provides funding for work opportunities for people with disabilities.
In addition, I was the chief author of a bill that protects Good Samaritans who provide care to somebody suffering a life-threatening allergic reaction—making sure you don’t get in trouble for administering an Epi-Pen. Finally, recognizing the critical need for mental health services across the board, I strongly supported record investments in mental health services for students, farmers, seniors, and Minnesotans in crisis.
My wife, Janel, grew up on a farm in Lewiston, where her family still farms the land. We are so fortunate to have some of the best agricultural land and the hardest working farmers in Minnesota right here in our area. Farming and agriculture drive our local economies and it is critical that lawmakers in Saint Paul understand its importance. 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.
During my time in the legislature, I’m proud to have supported legislation to fund the Dairy Assistance, Investment, and Relief Initiative, replenish the Rural Finance Authority, and make historic investments in broadband expansions to rural communities across the state.
As chair of the Jobs & Economic Growth Committee, we focused on initiatives to promote job growth, workforce development, and economic growth. As we build our state and local economies, I’m pleased to have led the way in making sure career and workforce development opportunities are available to all Minnesotans—including those who might not fit a traditional career mold. All Minnesotans deserve the opportunity to succeed at a job they love!
I was proud to work on the Helmets to Hardhats program to provide job opportunities to women and men returning from active duty, and championed additional funding for the Extended Employment Program, which provides job opportunities for people with disabilities.
I authored legislation to fund the Greater Minnesota Business Development Public Infrastructure Grant Program, which provides grants of up to half the development costs for Greater Minnesota industrial parks—public-partnerships that help maintain and create jobs, increase local tax bases, and provide economic development opportunities.
Another priority of mine is reducing excessive regulations placed on small businesses by the government so they can invest in their businesses, create jobs, and power local economies. We are working to do this by streamlining permitting processes, removing duplicative services, and reforming government so it moves at the speed of 21st Century commerce.
We have made tremendous progress, but there is work left to do, and I will continue working on policies that help create jobs and promote economic development in this great state. As the number of jobs in Minnesota increase, so does our quality of life.
Having a safe and reliable network of roads and bridges, rail, airways, and ports is critical for commerce, travel, and safety. As a member of the Minnesota Senate, I have supported the largest investments in roads and bridges in nearly two decades, with billions pumped into road and bridge construction projects across Minnesota, particularly in our Greater Minnesota communities.
I’m incredibly proud to support our veterans and their families. I helped pass legislation for the beautiful Southeast Minnesota Veterans Cemetery in Preston, and secured state funding for the Southeast Minnesota Veterans Home, which is currently being built. Additionally, I helped pass legislation to make military pensions tax exempt in Minnesota.
I’m incredibly proud to support our senior citizens. I worked very hard to increase funding for local nursing homes, and supported the landmark Elder Care and Vulnerable Adult Protection Act, which affords major new consumer rights to residents of long-term care facilities and licenses assisted living facilities in Minnesota for the first time. I also authored legislation to eliminate taxes on Social Security benefits and I will keep fighting until seniors get this much deserved tax relief.
I am pro-life.
I support our Second Amendment Right that allows law-abiding citizens the right to keep and bear arms.