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home : government : cities/towns May 1, 2016

11/13/2012 2:08:00 PM
Election winners share plans for 2013

By Tara Lindquist

Elections are over and planning for the next legislative session has already begun. Local representatives were sent follow up questions on their plans for the next the legislative session and what they felt the biggest issues the state of Minnesota is facing in the next biennium.

Senator Dave Senjem, R, Senate District 25

Senjem defeated Judy Ohly with 22,299 votes, Ohly had 19,149.

What are the first things that you plan to do now that you have been re-elected?

The first priorities for Senator Senjem, now that the elections are over, is getting his campaign signs down and put in storage and prepare bills for the 2013 legislative session.

What will your first five priorities be in the coming session?

Agree on a balanced budget

Stop the governor and the DFL from raising job-killing taxes on hard working Minnesotans.

Advance Legislation on the completion of Highway 14.

Pay off all the 2011 school shift obligations to schools with new budget surplus dollars.

Advance or otherwise support legislation directed at private sector job creations.

What do you see to be the biggest challenges Minnesota is facing in the next biennium?

Whether or not Minnesota enacts healthcare reform, which places the responsibility for healthcare with the federal government under what is commonly known as Obamacare.

Senjem would also like to express his gratitude to Dodge and Olmsted Counties for the opportunity to serve as their state senator. "I regard myself as a legislative servant and will always stand ready to help with any problem at any time."

Shannon Savick, DFL, 27A House Seat

Savick defeated incumbent Rich Murray with 520 votes, Murray received 444 and Independent candidate William J. Wagner had 118.

What are the first things that you plan to do now that you have been re-elected?

The DFL had their first caucus Thursday evening and after attending that caucus I realize that my first priority will be learning the job and how to operate effectively within the constraints of the caucus. In addition, I need to develop and set up a plan for staying in touch and understanding the needs of 27A.

What will your first five priorities be in the coming session?

Payback the school.

Balance the budget while supporting the middle class.

Creating jobs that pay a living wage.

Make health insurance affordable.

Provide a tax credit to volunteer first responders.

What do you see to be the biggest challenges Minnesota is facing in the next biennium?

There are a lot of challenges that Minnesota is facing but I believe the biggest is learning to hop to prosper in the 21st Century. The IT revolution and globalization has changed the way we work and live. It has changed every aspect of our life and we need to understand and work with not against these changes. It means investing in education, ensuring that our workers have the skills needed to succeed and investing in infrastructure needed to support and attract business to Minnesota.

"It is an honor to be elected State Representative and I want to thank my supporters," Savick said.

Jeanne Poppe, DFL, House District 27B

Poppe defeated Nathan Neitzell with 11,486 votes and Neitzell had 6,792 votes.

What are the first things that you plan to do now that you have been re-elected?

I will be preparing for the work that needs to be done. There are connections that need to be made locally with area government officials and there will be meetings in St. Paul regarding what the process and structure will look like.

What will your first five priorities be in the coming session?

Preparing a balanced budget. If we can get through the next two years without cutting more services and not pushing down the need for revenue to local governments we will have made progress. Included in this is fix the homestead credit issue and pay back the school shift. We need to work together with colleagues and the Governor on restructuring our tax system to be fair and responsible.

Representing the needs of our district. Which will mean meeting with local government officials to learn of their needs and concerns. Strengthen the line of communication with small business owners who want to grow or at least sustain in our rural area

Being a strong voice for rural Minnesota. We need make sure we have the ability to educate our children, take care of our seniors and grow our businesses. Our role as rural legislators always means educating our colleagues to who we are and what our needs are.

What do you see to be the biggest challenges Minnesota is facing in the next biennium?

We will face a significant budget deficit when we begin session, if you included the school shift it is projected to be over $4 Billion. Preparing a budget with that in mind means we need to consider all options for balancing the budget.

Duane Quam, R, House District 25A

Quam defeated John

Vossen, Quam received 11,056 votes and Vossen had 9,188.

What are the first things you plan to do now that you have re-elected?

Update the forecast and budget. We need to take a breath and look at where the state is at, then organize to meet requirements that there are. Frankly, too much will be impacted by activity of the federal government, sequestration could happen we don't know what the situation is until Congress acts. When we get back into session a lot of these things will be resolved, we'll know if we're going to be fairly normal or if there are going to be lot of changes.

What will your first five priorities be in the coming session?

First are jobs, what are we going to do to try to get a better job climate in the state, there are states that are worse than us and states that are better. We can't take our eye off the fact that the best solution is if everyone had a job. It would help the citizens; help the budget with more revenue coming in and less unemployment and social service benefits going out.

The second is budget because of the possible things the Federal Government could do are scary, it could impact ten percent of our budget or forty percent of our budget we just don't know.

Long term infrastructure plan and prioritization, we're going to fight to make sure Highway 14 stays within the 20-year plan. Systematic problems with infrastructure planning in the state have been a problem. Light rail in the metro is hot and heavy and it's sucking up a huge portion of expenses and the burden of supplementing ridership is taking away from maintenance of the rest of the infrastructure in the state. We need to have a better plan and execute it. Highway 14 has been a problem for years; it's a main artery of transportation between the third largest city in the state (Rochester) and Mankato, which is also a metro area.

Working with state agencies to restore confidence and credibility between business owners and controlling agencies. An example would be the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and are farmers. We need to make agencies less of bureaucracies and more in tune with helping businesses, not harming them.

The fifth thing is to try to come up with a coherent plan to keep agriculture viable and agri-businesses viable in Minnesota.

What do you see to be the biggest challenges Minnesota is facing in the next biennium?

Somewhat a continuation of budget and being competitive to surrounding states when it comes to attracting employers. We need to resolve issues with education; both issues will fill many hours of committee meetings.

Quam also noted that no matter how tough the times are here the recent hurricane and then snowstorm out east put things into perspective. "The difficulties we are having, are not so bad," he explained. "There is less 'woe is me' when we see the greater needs out there in our country it adds perspective. We get caught up and need to step back and see the bigger picture." Quam is also proud to have utility crews and other agencies from Minnesota able to help and hopes that Minnesota remains a state that can always help others.

Steve Drazkowski, R, House District 21B

Drazkowski beat Bruce Monthplaiser with 11,759 votes, Monthplaiser had 8,511.

What are the first things that you plan to do now that you have been re-elected?

Post election activities involve collecting and organizing the hundreds of campaign signs that have been in use over the past few months, connected with and thanking volunteers and supporters and working with my treasurer to bring campaign finance records up to date. I will also be putting in additional hours at my other job and will begin collecting additional information from constituents regarding the upcoming session.

What will your first five priorities be in the coming session?

Balance the budget without raising taxes.

Reform government to fit within the means of Minnesotans for the long-term.

Reduce business taxes, most importantly working to end the statewide business tax.

Bringing additional reforms that will end fraudulent use of our numerous state welfare programs.

End local government mandates and reduce regulations that are hurting job growth in our state.

What do you see to be the biggest challenges Minnesota is facing in the next biennium?

A Government that wants to consume more and more of the dollars that Minnesota workers earn. A legislature led by the party that will work overtime to enact policy that will hurt working families by raising their taxes and kill jobs by increasing taxes and regulations on our job providers. The need for policy that rewards work rather than government dependency, in the face of state leadership that will be doing exactly the opposite. Maintaining the freedoms we have in the face of these assaults that they will be taking from a relentless government.

"I would like to thank the voters of House District 21B for the faith and trust that they have placed in my ability to lead on their behalf at our state capitol," he added. He also noted he is humbled by their support and honored to serve their interests over the next two years. He welcomes constituents to reach him on his cell phone at any time, 1-651-564-0638.

More election winners' plans will printed as they come in.

How Dodge County Voted

Mitt Romney won the majority vote in Dodge County with 5,522 votes, President Barack Obama had 4,487.

Amy Klobuchar won the majority with 5,924 votes, Kurt Bills had 3,627, Stephen Williams 326, Tim Davis (Grassroots Party) 123, Michael Calvan (Minnesota Open Progressives) 36.

Tim Walz defeated Allen Quist 5,325 to 4,818.


YES 6096

NO 4199



YES 4521

NO 4863

Claremont Service

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