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 are the answers Tim Walz provided. This is not a paid advertisement nor does WCCO endorse any candidate.
Responses from Tim Walz, DFL candidate for Governor and candidate for Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan:
The Trump Administration's new E.P.A rollback of Coal Pollution Regulations allows states to decide how much to cut emissions. What is your stance on the Clean Air Act and what policy would you propose if elected?
The decision by the Trump Administration to roll back the Clean Air Act shows why we need leadership in Minnesota that will protect the environment, protect our public health, and promote policies that spur innovation and investments in the clean energy economy.
The science on climate change is clear. And the E.P.A's own study found that the rollback of coal pollution regulations could cause up to 1,400 more deaths by 2030 and lead to higher rates of bronchitis, asthma, and hospital admissions relating to cardiovascular and respiratory illness. This rollback will also affect the economy. The nation could see up to 48,000 days of school absences, and up to 48,000 days lost at work. We can't afford that loss of life, decrease in quality of life, and lost economic activity.
In Minnesota, we have had bipartisan support to ensure we are a leader in the clean energy, but we can and must do more. I will support policies that ensure Minnesota is on a path that reduces greenhouse emissions by 80% by 2050 and I will support policies that ensure that at least 50% of our energy comes from renewable sources. Minnesota's commitment to clean energy has created jobs all across the state and these goals will protect the environment, protect our public health, continue to create jobs, and help us develop the next generation of clean energy technology companies.
Should people convicted of non-violent drug offenses be released from prison and their records expunged?
Peggy and I stand for full legalization of marijuana for adult use as an opportunity to reduce crime, racial disparities and boost the economy. Other states have created well-regulated systems to allow recreational use of marijuana, provide public safety, and tax marijuana purchases to fund priorities like infrastructure and education. We should farm Minnesota-grown marijuana to be sold in well-regulated small businesses to grow our economy. Many in law enforcement support legalization of recreational marijuana to reduce incarceration rates for petty crimes, especially in communities of color, and allow our police officers to focus on keeping us safe from violent and property crimes.
Should Minnesota legalize and regulate sports gambling?
I believe that the people of Minnesota need to have a strong say on sports gambling in our state. And any proposal would need to have support from Minnesota's sovereign tribal governments. I look forward to having very frank and open conversations about sports gambling with the people of Minnesota and will continue to follow this issue closely.
What is the most important priority investment you will make in Minnesota government if you are elected (e.g. education, transportation, health care)?
As a former high school teacher and football coach with kids in public schools today, my top priority would be ensuring every child has access to a world-class education—no matter where they live.
This means bringing down class sizes, investing in preschool for our littlest Minnesotans, and ensuring every student has access to affordable college or technical school. It also means bringing the joy back to teaching, so that the very best are educating our children.
We must see the potential in every child, and realize that kids don't come in pieces. Their success in school is directly tied to their family's stability, which means access to affordable healthcare, a safe place to live, and good-paying jobs.
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)?
Peggy and I reject politics that pit the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota against each other. We have made building coalitions and bridging divides the number one priority of our campaign. Our ticket represents Minnesota: A teacher, a veteran, a mom with a child about to go to kindergarten, a dad with a kid a year from college, a suburban lawmaker, a Congressman from Greater Minnesota, a Native American woman, a guy who grew up on a farm, and a woman who grew up in an apartment building with a single mother. We are uniquely positioned to bring Minnesotans together around our shared values of hard work, opportunities for all, and a fair chance to get ahead.
Should Minnesota pass a law to require criminal background checks for every gun purchase or transaction in the states?
Yes, universal background checks are a critical step toward ensuring guns do not end up in dangerous hands. As a lifelong sportsman, military veteran, and Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate, I can bring the stakeholders together - responsible gun owners and gun safety advocates, sportsmen and parents - to build the coalitions necessary to actually get something done on this issue.
As a father whose kids are in the schools and a former teacher, nothing is more important to me than keeping our kids safe. Every child deserves to learn without the fear of gun violence. There are too many mass shootings in our all-too-recent history. We need to take action to protect our communities
Do you believe recreational marijuana should be legalized in Minnesota?
Peggy and I stand for full legalization of marijuana in adult use. The over-criminalization of marijuana has led to a disproportionate amount of people of color ending up in our criminal justice system. A well-regulated system would boost our economy and provide extra revenue for critical investments like education.
Should Minnesota raise the minimum wage to $15 statewide?
I co-sponsored the $15 federal minimum wage bill that was unfortunately mired in the gridlock of the Republican-controlled Congress and Peggy was a co-chair of Raise the Wage in 2014 which ultimately led to Minnesota having a minimum wage that increases with inflation. As governor, I will work to make a $15 minimum wage a reality in Minnesota. Raising the minimum wage will not immediately level the playing field for all Minnesotans, but it's an important start. For far too long the minimum wage has lagged behind inflation, leaving Minnesotans in a pinch to support themselves and their families. Putting more money in the pockets of Minnesotans will help ease anxieties about where their next meal will come from or how to pay for childcare. Raising the wage will help Minnesota families get ahead and stay ahead.
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?
While I have concerns about the process so far, it is important to remember that the recent PUC ruling is not the final decision. Enbridge still needs to apply for many additional federal, state, and local permits. It is my sincere hope that this permitting process increases engagement with tribes, and ensures any project respects treaty rights and protects tribal sovereignty.
Will you abolish MNSure if you are elected?
As Republicans at the national level try to roll back the Affordable Care Act, it is vital that Minnesotans have affordable, high quality healthcare. Thousands of Minnesotans rely upon the MNSure market.
As governor, I'll improve access to health care and reduce costs. I'll fight to give every Minnesotan the chance to buy coverage through MinnesotaCare, the state's own public health insurance option. This will give every person, in every corner of the state, access to at least one high-quality, affordable option for their health care.
Should Medicaid recipients be required to work?
Health care is a right, not a privilege and most people on Medicaid already work. In Congress, I opposed the Trump's Administration proposal that Medicaid recipients be required to work. This requirement has the potential to undermine access to health care for the most vulnerable in our society. Creating more hurdles for people who need help the most is unfair and unacceptable. It also drives up costs for those of us who are insured as those who lack coverage seek expensive emergency room care.
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.
We believe that in order to invest in transportation throughout the state we need to increase the funding for these projects. This begins with increasing the gas tax so that the entire state has a stable and reliable source of funding for the transportation networks that fuel Minnesota's economy. Cramming transportation funding into the bonding bill is both inadequate and irresponsible.
The current gas tax rate is no longer adequate for supporting the growing needs of our state. Next, we must look to ways that can help reduced the number of cars on the road. Investments in high speed commuter rail and bus networks would save money in the future and create less wear and tear on our roads and bridges.
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