Universal access to affordable healthcare for all residents because medical debt exacerbated by high out-of-pocket costs is the largest source of debt in the US, forcing people to forego needed care and foreclosing other possible family investments like homeownership or higher education. Public investment in housing to ensure everyone is safely housed because this is essential to tackling mental health issues and ensuring children have a stable start and consistent schooling. Fully funding public schools to ensure that all kids get the quality education they deserve, that educators have essential classroom supports, and that all support professionals get a salary that honors their work and ensures adequate staffing.
Pass legislation to protect election officials and poll workers from harassment. Resist laws that restrict access such as voter ID laws. Continue current policies of no excuse absentee voting, expanded early voting opportunities, same day voter registration, online voting, mail in balloting, and provision of secure drop off boxes. I support automatic voter registration at age 18 and restoring the vote to formerly incarcerated citizens residing in the community.
Make life affordable by investing public dollars in healthcare, childcare, housing. Increase the minimum wage and raise wages of caregivers in all settings. Prioritize green investment towards BIPOC communities such as EV transit, home weatherization, green job training and development, and beginning farmer programs. Direct home ownership support programs to first time BIPOC homeowners as a route to build wealth. Fully fund the MDHR and AG’s office to enforce antidiscrimination laws.
Tax cuts benefitting the wealthiest most will not substantially reduce costs of childcare, healthcare, or housing, especially for those paying half their income for a home. I believe state revenue gained due to the robust economy of the past two years should help lower the cost of these essential needs and raise wages for caregivers and school staff. I strongly support bonding and providing matching federal dollars to restore our infrastructure as a tool to create high paying union work.
I support: background checks for permit and purchase of handguns; Extreme Risk law; prohibition of assault rifles and high-capacity magazines; increase the age to purchase handgun to 21 and up; establish and fund school threat assessment teams; fund violence prevention research and the establish a state Office of Violence Prevention; state licensing of all gun dealers; law enforcement notification of failed background checks on attempted gun purchase; childproof features on new handgun sales.
My priorities are to deliver significant tax relief for all Minnesotans, targeted investments in safer communities and to strengthen education for all children. I authored a tax package that provides over $1000 in permanent tax relief for Minnesotans struggling with inflation and ends double taxation on social security benefits. With violent crime rates rising across the state, I will support policy changes that hold violent offenders accountable and put more good cops on the street. Our children deserve nothing less than a quality education that prepares them for a thriving future. We need to invest more in strategies with proven track records like Cradle to Career (C2C), early literacy, dual enrollment and Vo-Tech, PTech and CTech.
Election integrity is crucial in our representative democracy. We celebrate that Minnesota has a history of leading voter turnout. Yet that is not enough. We should join with 46 other states and allow for provisional ballots. This commonsense measure would protect the rights of all voters and ensure full faith in elections. I will also approach this question like I do all others, with an open mind and an eye toward compromise with all my colleagues.
Pandemic shutdowns & inflation disproportionately impact BIPOC communities. That is why I have & will continue to build on legislation to address racial & ethnic disparities: reducing tax burdens on Minnesotans of modest means; bringing private investment & jobs to marginalized areas; increased education opportunities (see question 1) & Workforce Development Scholarships. My affordable housing initiative passed in 2021 is the largest investment in affordable housing in the last 10 years.
We must help Minnesotans struggling with rising costs. That is why I will pursue tax relief that benefits all Minnesotans like the 2022 bipartisan agreement. It included permanent ongoing tax relief for all filers and eliminated the tax on Social Security benefits.
We also must address our workforce needs with a student- focused high-quality education that encourages parent involvement. It’s why I have consistently supported and authored record funding increases for our schools.
Crime has risen sharply, specifically gun violence. I support enforcing laws already on the books & making better use of the Federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to keep guns out of the hands of those who would do harm while protecting 2nd amendment rights. I will continue to support and build on my legislation for better access to mental health and substance abuse disorder services such as First Episode Centers, Crisis Response Centers, and expansion of the Youth Act