2010 Election Guide: Mark Dayton, DFL

by James Nord

What is the most important issue facing Minnesota right now, and how will you address it?
Jobs, jobs, jobs! I will be MinnesotaâÄôs next jobs Governor. I will go anywhere in our state, nation or world where there are jobs to be gained for Minnesota.
A bonding bill next January, taking advantage of low interest rates, would put an estimated 28,000 people to work in the construction
industry and building trades. New transportation and transit projects will not only create jobs but also help people and products move more efficiently throughout Minnesota.
We also need to help businesses grow by cutting red tape, expanding access to credit, and keeping property taxes down.
What would you do to fix the stateâÄôs projected $5.8-billion budget deficit?
DaytonâÄôs website lists a detailed plan to reduce the stateâÄôs budget deficit, including:
âÄúMark DaytonâÄôs budget solution will protect the middle class, while creating new jobs and investing in excellence in education. He will balance the state budget by making cuts where necessary, closing tax loopholes, and asking the richest Minnesotans to pay a little more.âÄù
In the next legislative session, the University of Minnesota will request $100 million more than it received this biennium. How much support should it expect from the state?
I cannot commit to a specific dollar amount until I know what the updated state Budget Forecast will show in December.
As new revenues become available, either from those savings or from an improving economy, my top priority will be education. At that time, I will sit down with University leaders and other leaders in higher education, elementary and secondary education, and early childhood education to determine what is possible.
How would you change MinnesotaâÄôs tax policy?
âÄú[DaytonâÄôs] plan calls for $3.6 billion in new revenue and $1.2 billion in specified budget cuts. The plan is a working document that clearly shows the direction Dayton will take as governor to close the nearly $6-billion deficit. Working with the Legislature he will continue to root out waste and look for new sources of revenue,âÄù according to a Sept. 21 campaign release.
What changes would you make to the state health care system? Would you accept federal funding?
I believe every Minnesotan should have access to quality, affordable health care. I want us to examine all options for providing a comprehensive system of financing health care for everyone.
As Governor, I will opt for the $1.4 billion in available federal Medicaid funding âĦ We need to provide more options for health care consumers.
As Governor, IâÄôll support health carwe insurance pools that school districts, small businesses, farmers and self-employed Minnesotans
can opt into. This will help spread out risk and leverage our buying power to lower costs.
How would you transition Minnesota into a green-energy economy?
âÄúIn their first year in office, Mark and Yvonne will establish an âÄúEnergy Savings Fund,âÄù with the aim of retrofitting
every public building in Minnesota for clean energy efficiency within 10 years. All across Minnesota, old, drafty government buildings âÄî from schools to libraries to state offices âÄî are not energy efficient. âĦ This initiative alone would create 50,000 jobs,âÄù according to DaytonâÄôs website.
Should more money be invested in mass transit? If so, where would it come from?
As Governor, Mark will work to repair our broken infrastructure and minimize congestion while also moving mass transit development
Mark will issue Transportation Construction Bonds, backed by federal highway funds, so that we can dramatically expand and accelerate
highway improvements throughout Minnesota.
Mark will also work with MinnesotaâÄôs Congressional delegation to secure funding for mass transit development both in the Metro and in Greater Minnesota. The Hiawatha light-rail line has been tremendously successful, and it can be a model to move Minnesota forward.
Do you support providing state funding for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium?
Any new stadium would have to be a âÄúPeople of MinnesotaâÄôs Stadium.âÄù I would support it if its financial benefits to Minnesota from taxes paid by the 8,000 people working for three years to build it, the other increased tax revenues paid by contractors and sub-contractors, the revenues from the users of the stadium, and other economic benefits exceed its public costs. I would not allow any money from the General Fund to be spent on a new stadium.
What is your stance on gay marriage?
âÄúMark Dayton and Yvonne Prettner Solon will fight to treat all Minnesota families equally under the law by working to enact a marriage equality bill.,âÄù according to DaytonâÄôs website.