Size and Scope of Government/Budget:
This session we had the opportunity to reduce the size of the deficit by making permanent reductions in government, but Governor Dayton refused to take action.
I believe we can and must reform government-get rid of duplication, sunset agencies and programs that are obsolete, unnecessary, and not performing. We must begin moving citizens from dependence on government to independence. As Ronald Reagan once said, "The best welfare program is a job!" When fewer dollars are spent by government, more dollars are infused into the private sector, creating more jobs and endless possibilities for all Minnesotans.
When every government job is supported by 5 private sector jobs, our focus must be on growing the private sector, not government. The preference by those with a liberal agenda is to protect government-not reform it. I resist this agenda. I choose to protect and put my faith in the individual, not the government.
I have worked for job growth and free market opportunity. I helped pass incentives to spur investment in small business and an expansion of the research credit to help small businesses and entrepreneurs grow and create jobs. I will continue to work on behalf of our job creators, families and free market principles.
Economic growth will come from the hardworking people of Minnesota--not the government. With an open door to free market opportunity we will write a new chapter in prosperity.
Minnesota has a talented, well-educated workforce. Our people are hard-working and we enjoy a great quality of life. In addition, our state has a reputation of innovation and entrepreneurship. In addition to building on these strengths...
I believe we must also remove barriers to job growth. Minnesota is the home to many Fortune 500 companies. However, as these companies are growing, they are choosing to do so out of the state of Minnesota. The CEO of 3M has said they will never lay another brick in this state. By reducing government red-tape, excessive regulation, and frivolous lawsuits, we can turn this trend around and grow our existing businesses and attract new ones.
According to the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council's 2009 business tax index, Minnesota ranks 48/51 in Corporate Income Tax Rates @ 9.8%. It makes sense to reduce or eliminate business taxes on investment and free up more capitol for new hires and new equipment purchases.
I believe in putting our children's education first. I support fairness in education funding. The funding discrepancy between Minneapolis/St. Paul schools and suburban and outstate schools is wide. The funding formula needs to be more balanced and should also be made simpler so that parents and taxpayers can 'do the math'.
We have some of the best public, private, and charter schools in the nation. We also have many families who choose to home educate. I believe parents are best suited to choose what school is the best fit for their child in regard to learning style, environment, and curriculum. I am an advocate of school choice tax credits so that parents are not locked into a school that will not meet their child's educational needs due to lack of financial resources.
In these tough economic times, I have voted to hold education funding harmless. The fact still remains that the education discussion is not just about funding. Funding must be allocated to the maximum benefit of the students. Focus needs to be on high standards of achievement and measurable outcomes so that we can prepare our children to compete in an ever-expanding global market place.
I co-authored the Freedom of Health Care Act that was a proposed Constitutional Amendment that would have protected and preserved our health care, despite what happened in Washington DC. The bill said that you could keep your health insurance and provider and that no person or business would be penalized if they did not abide by any federal mandate forced upon the citizens of Minnesota by the over-reaching federal government.
I support the effort to mobilize our state attorney general to join many other state's attorneys general in filing a lawsuit against the new federal health care law. The federal law impedes upon our state's right to manage our own system. The federal program is unaffordable and will lead to rationing.
I have supported measures to start tackling the high cost of medical care, including legislation to reduce some of the nearly 70 state mandates that drive up the cost of insurance premiums on our families. I am a believer that individuals make the right decisions when it comes to their own health care. Therefore, I am a proponent of Health Savings Accounts. "HSA's put patients in charge of their own health care dollars. Patients are more likely to 'shop around' for the best value for themselves and their families, making the most of every health care dollar."
I also support medical liability reform to address rising medical costs and reductions in unnecessary mandates and bureaucracy so nurses can spend more time with patients and less time on paperwork.
I am 100% pro-life. I also believe marriage should be defined as between one man and one woman.
Taxes and the Budget:
I voted to protect Minnesota Taxpayers from ALL of the following tax increases:
* $2.2 Billion income tax on ALL Minnesotans
*Adding a 4th tier income tax from 7.85% to 9.1%-ranking us with the likes of New Jersey and New York
*$391 million in local option sales tax increases in every county
*A new tax on used boats, ATV's & snowmobiles (Ask your local dealer-they are all ready struggling in this economy)
*A new tax on iTunes downloads.
I also voted to preserve these important tax benefits for families:
*The home mortgage interest deductions
*The child & dependent care credit
*The organ donation deduction
*The elderly or disabled income subtraction
The DFL Majority tried to eliminate ALL of these credits!
One important piece of solving our economic problems is for families and businesses to keep more of their OWN money.
I am a supporter of our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. I believe this is an individual right of all citizens. All law-abiding citizens also have the right to defend their own life and property - I am a strong supporter of the Castle Doctrine.
Prepared and paid for by Scott for MN House Committee; Liz Franze, Treasurer
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