2010 Election Guide: Phyllis Kahn, DFL, incumbent

by Evelina Smirnitskaya

What is the most important issue facing your district and how would you address it?
The most important issue facing the state is the issue of financing, and the issue of cutting down budget for thing[s] that the state needs to supply and specifically for us, the University [of Minnesota].
I would certainly go along the lines that Mark Dayton has. We need to increase our taxes, and we need to do them in the progressive manner, and obviously, exactly what the levels that weâÄôre looking at would have to be determined in the legislative session.
What would you do to fix the stateâÄôs $5.8 billion budget deficit?
We have set up a whole set of commissions on efficiency and coordination and so forth. There are lots of things that can be put together. âĦ
The thing I work on the most âĦ is trying to bring in the stateâÄôs communications computer systems into one system.
One of the problems is that a lot of these good ideas take up-front money to do, so youâÄôve got to do something that you can argue is going to save money in the next ten years, even if itâÄôs going to cost some up-front money to start.
What policies will you support to spur economic growth?
I would work on the stateâÄôs strengths, and the most important strength that we have in the state is the quality of our education system
âÄî and specifically our university and higher education system. So I would make sure that thatâÄôs kept up so that we can attract the kind of businesses that want to rely on that.
What changes would you make to the state health care system?
The first thing I would do is I would immediately adopt every part of the federal care system that we can. âĦ I would look very carefully at everything thatâÄôs in the federal bill and what can be advanced, and move as much as we can toward a single-payer health care system.
How would you transition Minnesota into a green energy economy?
Just looking at everything you can do in terms of tax credits and encouragement, and making the University âÄî making the state âÄî an example of its support for green building and energy- efficient buildings and so forth.
Should state funding be used for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium?
No. You might need some state legislation to enhance it, but as long as there is any other need in the state, thatâÄôs last on my list of priorities.
Should more money be invested in mass transit? If so, where would that money come from?
It should come from the sources that it has come from âÄî from the gas tax, from motor vehicle tax and so forth.
What is your stance on gay marriage?
I strongly support it. IâÄôve been an author of the bill for it in the last two sessions.
What policies would you support that would affect tuition at the University of Minnesota?
I would support a decent state budget for the University of Minnesota. When you look âĦ at the difference between Wisconsin
tuition and Minnesota tuition, which then of course specifically affects what people pay at Minnesota, Wisconsin tuition was lower because the state was putting more state support into the university system.