STATE SENATOR DISTRICT 8Michael Cummins • Tony Lourey
Question 1: Minnesota seems stuck in an endless cycle of budget shortfalls. What can individual lawmakers do to help pull the state out of this cycle and ensure fiscal responsibility while still providing needed services?
Question 2: What’s the role, if any, of local legislators in fostering economic development and job creation in northern Minnesota?
Occupation: General contractor
Residence: Brook Park
Minnesota suffers from a cyclical shortfall, not the structural shortfalls described by this question. The current shortfall is the result of reduced revenue due to recession. Revenue shortfalls need to be corrected by proportionately reduced outlay.
Because government is adept at destroying jobs, there is a misconception that it can also create jobs. Jobs are created when there is a demand for a good or service that can be profitably provided by the private sector. The role of government is to stay out of the way.
Occupation: Legislator, farmer
Lawmakers need to have a thorough discussion to determine the core services that Minnesotans need and how much it will cost to provide them. We need to look at our state’s entire revenue stream and revamp our tax structure. A balanced approach is needed, and nothing is off the table.
Small businesses are the backbone of our rural economy – we need to help them grow and invest in new start-ups. We can also promote job creation and economic development by ensuring our communities have the infrastructure that businesses need to succeed: reliable utilities, safe roads and bridges and good schools.