Family: Husband- Daniel Daughters -Andrea, Erica, Rebecca, Amy, and Cameo Grandchildren-Kailey, Caiden, Russell and one more grandchild due in May.
Occupation: Business owner
Previous civic and community involvement: Have worked with Senator Brown on a legislative bill over last few years. Working with city of Becker and other local business owners for the revitalization of downtown Becker
Worked with city of Becker and MN DOT to get 8 large highway street signs installed on Highway 10 at no cost to city of Becker.
Served on board of directors for Parent Place
1. Why are you running for office?
I am running for the State Legislature because I want to be a voice to protect the middle class and small business owners. I will strive to work across party lines to pass laws that will help all Minnesotans.
2. Current state budget projections, when inflation is factored in, foresee an upcoming state budget deficit. If a deficit occurs, should that be remedied solely through budget cuts? If not, what revenue generators would you support?
The situation is this: There is 2.4 billion owed the schools, 1.4 billion projected revenue shortfall, and almost 1 billion in inflation for a total of a 4.8 billion shortfall. I am open to exploring all ideas on ways to solve the shortfall. One thing is for certain, we will have to work together.
3. Do you favor expanding Northstar Commuter Rail to St. Cloud, assuming ridership improves? Was the decision to establish a commuter rail line in the transportation corridor a good decision or bad one?
My first priority is restoring education funding and repaying the 2.4 billion owed to schools. I believe the Northstar was a good decision and would favor expansion to St. Cloud if the funds can be found without raising taxes on middle income families.
4. In general, are public schools adequately funded in Minnesota? If not, where should additional money come from?
No. Globally our students rank at the bottom in almost every category. Any parent who does homework with their child knows that the subjects are harder than when we went to school but the rest of the world is surpassing us because they place a higher value on education than we do. I believe we can fund it by cutting unnecessary waste.
5. Do you support so-called Last In, First Out (LIFO) legislation that could allow school boards to call back a laid-off teacher with less seniority over another with more, if the teacher is deemed a more skillful teacher?
Concentrating on questions like this once again distract us from the real goal of keeping up with Europe and Asian education standards. I support continuing local control over education.
6. Do you support passage of the two proposed constitutional amendments, Photo ID and the same-sex marriage ban, currently on the ballot?
No, because I believe we need small government for the people.
7. Can lawmakers do anything to help improve the state’s economy?
Of course! We need to make our schools the best in the world so that we can provide businesses with a stable well educated workforce. We also need to maintain our infrastructure and reduce unnecessary regulations and streamline the permit process.
8. If you could sign three laws into effect today, what would they be?
1. Insure Healthcare access to every child
2. Restore the Homestead Credit
3. Year round public education
9. What legislation would you support to reduce the number of abortions?
I will fight for legislation that protects the unborn from dying from miscarriage and lack of healthcare, because I believe that life is sacred. I am a strong advocate of making sure pregnant woman have affordable access to good health care so that no baby (born or unborn) will die unnecessarily.
10. The Elk River Area School District is seeking an operating levy renewal and an additional levy to in part provide for all day, every day kindergarten. Is that appropriate, or should the state provide the funding for this endeavor.
As your Representative I would fight for State funding for all Minnesota. But I agree that Elk River should seek the levy because St. Paul currently lacks the ability to get anything done.
11. What energy policies are needed in the state of Minnesota?
We are a State that is poor in oil, gas and coal and rich in renewable resources. I’m open to all commercially viable options.
12. What changes in health care reform would you push if elected?
First we need a system that’s based on outcome not fee for services. As stated before I believe that no family should lose their home because of an illness inflicted on their children.
Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce Questions
Would you describe yourself as “Pro-Business” and if yes, what makes you Pro-Business?
My parents founded and managed their own manufacturing business in Monticello for over forty years. I began working in the family business when I was seven and continued until I went to college. I became a dedicated business woman through learning the concepts of their company and founded my local retail store 10 years ago. As a business owner I have worked with state and local officials for the benefit of the entire community. I am a strong supporter of small businesses and have the first-hand knowledge to make decisions that support and encourage their development.
What proposal do you have to ensure effective teachers in every classroom in the State of Minnesota?
The vast majority of teachers in our area are great, in fact some of the best in the country. I support local control and also state incentives for teacher compensation.
What policy changes would you support in higher education that will lead to an emphasis in producing people ready for work in the jobs available while also closing the skills gap?
It starts with cooperation and a partnership between business and schools to produce the talent they need. Our technical colleges and Vo-Techs used to be a model for this cooperation but funding cuts gutted many of these programs. The U of M also needs R&D funding in areas like Bio medical and renewable energy.
What changes to the state’s property tax system do you believe are necessary to improve its competitiveness, understandability and administration?
The fact is that the State of Minnesota the last several years has changed the way we fund government. We use to fund it on a person’s ability to pay (income tax) and now we have switched to the perceived value of their property (property tax). What’s happened is that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Communities like Big Lake and Elk River which have been hit hardest by the housing bubble burst lost a lot of revenue which affected local government and schools in a devastating manner while communities like Edina and Eden Prairie were barely affected. We have to move back to the tax system that gave us budget surpluses and the Minnesota Miracle.
Should energy rates be set to reflect the actual costs of serving a group of customers in a specific class instead of having one class of customers subsidize another?
Is funding for Highway 10 improvements a priority? Why or why not?
Yes. Because restoring the housing market is the key to our local economy and one of the keys to that is an efficient transportation system that reduces drive time from our home to our places of work.