While you will learn a good deal about me
through the blog, sometimes I will want to communicate to you with
longer positions on key topics to me. I currently have three short
papers in .pdf format:
• Zero based
Click those links to view my positions (you will need Adobe Acrobat
Reader to view them; a link to a free reader is
I consider the two most important issues to be the budget and jobs.
Here are some thoughts on these and other issues:
- We have a spending problem in this
state. The key issue in our campaign is not how to solve a budget
deficit but should be posed as how
big should our government be? I favor spending no more
than the revenues
forecasted in the next biennium, which is an increase of more than
$2 billion from the previous biennium. See here for more ideas on
how to control our spending.
- There are many St. Cloud workers
still seeking employment. While the recession may be over, the rate at
workers are finding jobs hasn't increased, and some firms are still
reducing their workforces. We need to reinvigorate the private
sector to create jobs. See my ideas here.
- Minnesota has a magnificent record
in K-12 education. We have good teachers and a good system that
provides public school
choice and some help for tuition for those who choose private schools.
My goals are to expand some of those choices for children from
lower-income families, and to improve the accountability of our school
system. My ideas on education are here.
- We have a difficult situation in
higher education. There is pressure on student tuitions, faculty and
staff are being cut,
and there are threats to athletics. I have already worked on textbook
costs. We need to better coordinate the existing loan
programs available to students to help them afford their educations. We
also need more flexibility for public universities to explore sources
of revenue beyond tuition and state support. This should include more
local community involvement in state colleges and universities.
- Seniors are a vital issue as our
baby-boom generation ages and the number of workers supporting our
pension system declines
relative to the number of seniors. This will naturally be a priority in
future legislatures. However, we need plans that do not overly burden
our younger generations; reducing the amount of state debt future
generations must repay for us should be a priority.
- St. Cloud State has been a leader
in providing education to our veterans, who deserve our thanks and
support for their post-service
lives. One reform I would seek would be to welcome any veteran, from
any state, to our state universities as if they were in-state
residents, and therefore pay in-state tuition.