Welcome to WCCO.com's 2018 political guide!
We reached out to all Minnesota candidates running for U.S Senate, Governor, U.S Congress, Attorney General, Secretary of State and State Auditor this fall. Candidates were asked to provide a two-minute video discussing their platform as well as answer a set of our viewer's questions.
Above is the video and below the answers Erin Murphy provided. This is not a paid advertisement nor does WCCO endorse any candidate.
Responses from Erin Murphy, DFL candidate for Governor:
What is the most important priority investment you will make in Minnesota government if you are elected (e.g. education, transportation, health care)?
Every Minnesotan deserves the freedom that comes from knowing you always have access to the health care you need, yet right now, far too many Minnesotans aren't able to access or afford that care. That changes when I become Governor.
I'm a mom and a nurse, I've worked in a rural hospital and then on a transplant team, as the Executive Director of the Minnesota Nurses Association, and as a legislative leader on health and human services. And from every angle, I believe that we need to prioritize the urgent needs of Minnesotans - as patients and workers - over corporate interests.
My plan focuses on improving the health of Minnesotans while getting private health insurers, pharmaceutical companies, and other special interests out of the way of the decisions between Minnesotans and their medical providers. And I will fight back against the skyrocketing price of prescription drugs by leveraging the purchasing power of the state to negotiate directly with drug manufacturers and work to import cheaper drugs from Canada.
Families, seniors, farmers, small business owners and just about anyone who has experienced our frustrating health care system can relate to the sense that there must be a better way. They are right. I will fight to make Minnesota the first state where everyone has access to affordable, quality health care.
What are your views (if any) about the divide between rural/urban Minnesota; if so, what would you do to address urban/rural concerns (e.g. infrastructure, internet access, economic development)?
As I have traveled across the state in this campaign and in my twelve years as a state representative, I find that Minnesotans are eager for a politics that embraces our shared values as Minnesotans, rather than a divisive playbook that pits Minnesotans against each other. Too often, this politics of division has allowed the status quo to prevail, preventing progress on on affordable health care, raising wages, and creating opportunity for Minnesotans across the state.
No matter your zip code, Minnesotans want economic security for their families, health care they can afford, and a world-class education for their kids. As Governor, I will listen to Minnesotans across the state and work to build a future where everyone can thrive.
Should Minnesota pass a law to require criminal background checks for every gun purchase or transaction in the states?
Yes, Minnesotans are demanding urgent action on gun violence prevention and it's time for us to stand up to the NRA to keep our communities and kids safe. I will fight for background checks on all guns - no exceptions, red flag laws that keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn't have them, prohibiting the sale of military-style assault weapons, restrictions on high-capacity magazines, and lifting the ban on research of gun violence as a public health issue.
Do you believe recreational marijuana should be legalized in Minnesota?
Yes. I believe in recreational legalization and an expansion of our medical cannabis program.
Our current law around the use of cannabis restricts doctors in prescribing what, for many, is an excellent tool to manage pain. Legalizing recreational marijuana must include record expungement, a process for expungement of records for non-violent offenders, and support for them as they transition out of the criminal justice system. I believe it's important that we do that piece at the same time we legalize to address the underlying structural racism that has unfairly targeted people of color and indigenous people for non-violent drug offenses.
Should Minnesota raise the minimum wage to $15 statewide?
Too many Minnesotans work hard every day yet struggle to make ends meet. We should raise the state's minimum wage to $15/hour and ensure everyone has access to paid sick and safe time. It's critical that every Minnesotan be paid a living wage and have the benefits necessary to provide for themselves and their family.
Should Minnesota grant a permit for Enbridge Energy Company to build a new oil pipeline across central Minnesota, and approve a new route for the updated pipeline?
I have serious concerns about this proposal.
Enbridge's proposed route travels through sensitive environmental sites and important treaty territory. We must respect the concerns of tribal governments in this process, whose voices have too frequently been disregarded by our institutions.
I also believe Minnesota must expand its green energy portfolio to move away from our dependence on fossil fuels. As we look ahead at building our bright future, we must set our sights on strengthening our renewable energy standards and dramatically increasing our use of electric vehicles by investing in the infrastructure necessary to make them an option for Minnesotans regardless of where they live.
Will you abolish MNSure if you are elected?
Every Minnesotan deserves the freedom that comes from knowing you always have access to the health care you need. That is why I proposed a plan, providing a pathway to single-payer in Minnesota. It recognizes that health care is the foundation for the overall health, well-being and financial security for Minnesotans across the state. It removes special interests, like health insurers and pharmaceutical companies, that get in the way of decisions made by Minnesotans and their medical providers. I'll do it by opening up MinnesotaCare to anyone who wants to buy into it and by directly contracting with providers, while fighting for innovative reforms to, like importing cheaper drugs from Canada, to ensure Minnesotans have access to affordable medications. Minnesota has been a leader in health care and we can do so again.
Should Medicaid recipients be required to work?
Many Minnesotans who are on Medicaid are too sick or have extenuating circumstances preventing them from going to work, going to school, or volunteering.
As a nurse and a legislator, I've seen the devastating effects on the health and well-being of Minnesotans and communities when access to critical, essential healthcare is cut off. Denying health care to Minnesotans who need it is not only unjust, but fiscally irresponsible and will jack up healthcare costs for all Minnesotans.
The population of Minnesota is expected to grow by 800,000 by 2035. What would you do to accommodate rapid growth on the state's transportation system? Please outline a future funding mechanism for roads and bridges.
It's vital that we build a transportation system that can meet the demands and needs of Minnesotans for a generation to come. That requires that we invest a dedicated source of revenue for roads, bridges, and transit so that we are responding to the unique transportation needs in communities across the state and doing so in a fiscally responsible manner. I do not support the constitutional amendment that was pushed last year to take money from the general fund currently used for our schools, hospitals, and other basic priorities to fund transportation needs. I believe we have the capacity to address our failing transportation infrastructure while also investing in schools, health care, and our future.
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