Phyllis Kahn, Democratic Incumbent, State representative District 59B

Many politicians have been talking about change recently. What do you think needs to change in Minnesota and how do you plan to address that? The most important thing is that we get the five seats in the house to overrule the governorâÄôs veto. I think that the worst thing that has happened is that the governor has just totally stood in the way of progress. ThatâÄôs the most hopeful change I can see that we would have. How would you encourage economic growth in Minnesota? One, is that we really have to look at new industries. We started to recognize the problem of global warming and the need for new forms of energy and I think we dramatically need to move in that direction, for both support economic development, and in terms of the University, for research. Another thing that is really important is the realization that economic development depends on more people with higher education. We need to have very much better programs for adult learning, and for adults who are out of the kinds of jobs that are being eliminated to be able to get higher degrees and be ready for the new kinds of jobs that we are going to need. With tuition costs rising, what, if anything, would you do to make college more affordable? Again, particularly if you look at the combination between us and Wisconsin, in tuition costs, you will see the state of Wisconsin is putting much more money into … higher education than Minnesota is. The next thing … is the concept of work study programs, where students are connected with faculty members doing research and are paid to help with that. I donâÄôt support tuition freezes, because … if you donâÄôt have another supply of money that is a way to mediocrity in the University. We need to make sure we have enough programs so that no one is deprived of an education because of a lack of funding. What is your stance on gay marriage? I have actually introduced a bill âĦ completely removing the concept of gender from our marriage laws, so complete support. What is your stance on abortion? IâÄôm totally pro-choice, but I also agree with Bill ClintonâÄôs statement that abortions should be legal, safe and rare. Everything we can do to help people avoid the unwanted pregnancies that lead to abortions should be done. Do you think more money should be invested in mass transit, and if so, where should the money come from? Yes. There are some limits on what we can do with the gas tax, so again we need more general taxation for mass transit. We need more appropriations. Minnesota voters will have the opportunity to vote on the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, which would increase the state sales tax to fund the environment and the arts in Minnesota. How do you feel about this amendment? Absolutely, I voted for it and I think I was a co-author of it and I completely support it.