- The Republican-controlled House did an excellent job in the last bi-annual budget, holding the increase to one of the lowest in recent history. Even with this more modest increase, the average budget increase in past decades far exceeds inflation and cost of living increases. This rate of increase is simply UNSUSTAINABLE. Spending programs are continually added with no timeframes for completion or review. Each current program needs to be evaluated for cost-effectiveness and achieving original objective(s). Only the best performing and cost effective programs should be maintained (with rare exception). I believe in "zero-based budgeting," which means justifying a given program from a zero dollar perspective. It re-evaluates and costs all parts of the program to ensure it is meeting the original objectives. All programs should be subject to zero-based budgeting at set intervals, allowing all programs to be reviewed at least every 5 years.
- The current tax codes (and associated fee and license charges that masquerade as taxes) are some of the highest in the nation. We do not need any new taxes (again, with very rare exception); instead, we need more effective spending of the current revenue stream. Every economy experiences fluctuations -- along with all businesses and individuals. Yet, Government acts "immune" to these fluctuations and demands the same or increased revenue each year. Government must adjust to these fluctuations and make the same hard choices as businesses and individuals do.
High Quality Education
- Education is critical to the success and future of our State & Nation. I strongly believe in educational opportunities from the youngest age -- and continuing throughout one's life. Each individual possesses unique abilities and learning skills that need to be positively reinforced. Our educational system should identify these needs and provide opportunities to fully develop them. This is not a one-size-fits-all approach; rather one that maximizes effectiveness. Those who wish to learn should be provided the avenue(s) to do so. Our educational dollars are precious, and should be spent where they yield the highest result.
- The efficient movement of people and products is essential to a thriving community. A multi-modal transportation system addresses these needs. This includes roads/bridges to handle all types of vehicles, along with public transportation systems that address current and future needs. Reliable revenue streams must be fully dedicated to provide these transportation needs.
- A future looking (long-term) plan is critical to keep Minnesota competitive with other areas of the country that are also intent on attracting millennials, businesses, and a highly educated workforce.