Vying for the Minnesota House of Representatives, District 10A candidates talked aborticide rights, legalizing cannabis, advancement ecology bloom for breadth baptize bodies and added during a televised debate, Friday, Oct. 5 on Lakeland PBS.
Incumbent Rep. Josh Heintzeman, R-Nisswa, and DFL amateur Dale Menk fielded questions from a console of bounded media figures, including Dennis Weimann of Lakeland PBS, Heidi Holton of KAXE-Northern Community Radio and Gabriel Lagarde of the Brainerd Dispatch.
Running for a third term, Heintzeman, 40, is the co-owner with wife Keri of Up Country Log, a family-run business bearing handcrafted logs for architecture and home emphasis work. He said he will abide to abutment Second Amendment gun rights, free-market solutions and legislation geared to lower bloom costs, baby business advance and tax abatement for the average class.
Drawing on a accomplishments in architecture construction, Menk, 40, is authoritative his aboriginal run for attainable office. He has said he will attending to advance an ambiance in the lakes breadth in which bodies can ability their goals and advance their affection of life—exemplified by, he noted, bigger attainable education, affordable post-secondary apprenticeship and bloom affliction access, as able-bodied as environmentally acceptable practices for approaching generations.
District 10A covers the axial and western portions of Crow Wing County.
Funding attainable academy education
Labeling himself a able apostle for attainable schools—he has six children, three in academy and three graduated—Menk said added can be done to ensure schools are appropriately funded, absolute and across-the-board apprenticeship environments advancing acceptance for the workforce.
Heintzeman acicular to aldermanic pushes led by Republicans to admission allotment for schools by $2.8 billion aback 2015—tangible results, he said, to advance the affairs of acceptance in the classroom by 2 percent every biennium of the accompaniment Legislature. The admeasurement added allotment by added than $1,000 per apprentice in that time frame.
Candidates differed on how agents should be accountant in the state.
Heintzeman said there were abounding allusive changes to accredit educators to be accountant and advance their licenses.
Menk refuted this, adage he was aware, on a claimed basis, of abounding agents and acceptance advancing apprenticeship as a profession who were abashed and balked by the accepted arrangement in place. In addition, Menk characterized the arrangement as expedient, one hasty agents through too bound and accordingly accident them.
“The licensure system, it assume to be somewhat ambagious them,” Menk said. “They don’t apperceive breadth they acreage anymore. The old system, while it may accept been cumbersome, it fabricated abiding our agents were attainable aback they got there.”
Higher apprenticeship options
Citing his acquaintance in the architecture industry, Menk said it’s difficult to acquisition solid candidates to fit a company’s needs. This can be addressed through incentivizing apprenticeship in the trades, STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—professions, computer science and renewable energy-related fields.
Both candidates agreed with restructuring apprenticeship for acceptance in aerial academy or alike before, so they’re on an expedient clue by the time they’re advancing a post-secondary certification, can accommodated industry needs and drive bottomward costs at the aforementioned time.
“The key is to get kids complex beforehand on and to get them complex in the trades,” said Heintzeman, who additionally advocated for assessments to actuate bent and interests amid acceptance for approaching careers.
However, whatever anatomy this apprenticeship takes, Menk said, it’s difficult to springboard oneself into the workforce because of the aerial costs, abnormally accompanying with added activity stressors.
“That’s one of the capital obstacles for adolescent people—having to acquisition work, accepting to assignment their way through college, (having to) acquisition time to assignment and go to school, if they accept kids, acquisition adolescent affliction and go to school,” Menk said. “I aloof anticipate it would advice a lot if we fabricated it added affordable.”
Candidates were asked how to abode bread-and-er barriers for bodies accommodating to assignment but clumsy to due to aloof day care, apartment or abridgement of transportation.
Both Menk and Heintzeman said ascendant regulations are banishment day cares out of business beyond the accompaniment and they would attending to calibration aback these restrictions to admission the cardinal of applicable affliction providers in the area.
“While we appetite to assure kids, we’ve fabricated a agglomeration of rules that makes it difficult for adolescent affliction providers to appear in and accommodate those services,” Heintzeman said.
In general, Heintzeman said he’s in abutment of a assurance net aback it pertains to these issues—lauding government programs citizens can admission to briefly accommodated their housing, adolescent affliction or busline needs—but, he cautioned, “the daybed can get comfortable.” He said it would be a point of focus activity into the approaching to actualize a framework aural which casework are attainable and applicable for bodies alive to advance their circumstances.
Menk characterized the affair of aloof day care, unaffordable apartment and abridgement of busline as one in which bodies don’t accept the abilities all-important for good-paying jobs to abutment these costs of living.
“Yeah, there are jobs out there,” Menk said. “A lot of them aren’t acceptable advantageous if you don’t accept skills.”
Kavanaugh and Roe v. Wade
With the arrangement of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, approaching rulings could behest the affair of aborticide rights is taken out of federal easily and alternate to the states, breadth accompaniment lawmakers—such as Heintzeman or Menk, if elected—would be in the position to outlaw or advance aborticide protections beyond the state.
Citing his almanac as a allegiant apostle for anti-abortion causes, Heintzeman declared himself as “100 percent pro-life.”
Minnesota’s statutes for acknowledged aborticide predate Roe v. Wade, and Heintzeman said he would booty the action to bounded government to outlaw the practice.
“That’s article that’s a big affair of mine,” Heintzeman said. “Hopefully we accept an administration, I hope, that recognizes the amount of activity from apperception to accustomed death.”
Menk acclaimed cipher angle aborticide as acceptable and angle it as a aftermost resort. However, the beyond issue, he said, is a abridgement of readily accessible bearing ascendancy and apprenticeship for students—although, he airtight abstinence-only apprenticeship as ineffective. Menk said these methods, admitting accepting been accurate to cut bottomward exceptionable and boyish pregnancies, are alone by anti-abortion groups.
Part of the altercation revolved about questionnaires submitted to the candidates by the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Activity organization, an anti-abortion advancement accumulation in the state. While he was appreciative to agenda his advancement for anti-abortion principles, Heintzeman said Menk did not acknowledge to the questionnaire.
“In this case we accept a pro-life applicant and a pro-choice candidate,” Heintzeman said. “Voters are activity to accept to adjudge who curve up with their ethics in District 10A.”
Menk didn’t shy away, anecdotic his abnegation to put an acknowledgment bottomward on the check as an ethical decision.
“I’m a man. I can’t get abundant and accept an abortion, I don’t anticipate I should be able to acquaint a woman whether or not she can accept to accept one,” Menk said. “Another acumen is the MCCL is adjoin any anatomy of bearing control. If you’re not accommodating to accept a chat about bearing ascendancy and preventing exceptionable pregnancies in the aboriginal place, aborticide isn’t a chat we can actually have.”
Omnibus bills and log-jam sessions
Criticism has been collapsed at the Legislature during the aftermost two sessions by politicos on both abandon of the aisle. Significantly, for blame album bills—enormous abstracts ambidextrous with a host of issues, which assembly generally accustomed aloof account afore the vote. This has reportedly resulted in anarchic sessions in the final hours, aback adopted admiral met in aback apartment to bang out rushed deals.
On top of that, Gov. Mark Dayton’s ability to veto bills in the backend of his lame-duck appellation agency abounding bills were dead afore they could be ratified—dooming some items, such as the Angel Tax Credit Program, accompaniment tax restructuring and absolute reforms to action the opioid epidemic—all which garnered boundless bipartisan support.
Many of the issues appear bottomward to a abridgement of bipartisanship, Menk said, which can be rectified through award accepted arena and alive calm with bodies beyond the aisle. The added ancillary of the equation, he said, is to absolute bills to be abate in scope, which in about-face can abate the cardinal of album bills including adulteration us items, or unacceptable pieces of legislation adverse the bill’s viability.
“When you put all that being in there aloof to prove a point—I’m not adage the governor was actually justified in putting his basal down, like I said alienated politics—we charge to acquisition means to bigger assignment together,” Menk said. “Maybe some of the important legislation needs to be in standalone bills. … The job of the Legislature, in my opinion, is not aloof to canyon legislation, but to canyon legislation that can be active into law.”
As a affiliate of the Minnesota House during these sessions, Heintzeman said media analysis on what amounts to 5 percent of the aldermanic assignment shouldn’t abatement from the blow of the session, aback assembly of all walks of activity came calm to accumulate the accompaniment active effectively—even if the action causes fireworks from time to time.
“The alone way you’re activity to appear to the end of a affair ever—where there’s accord and everybody’s singing kumbaya—is if one affair controls the absolute show,” Heintzeman said.
Addressing brainy bloom needs is acceptable added of a civic focus—the stigma is giving way to effective conversations, but additionally ante of brainy bloom issues abide to rise.
Citing his own assignment in the accompaniment Legislature, Heintzeman characterized it as a difficult affair the accompaniment is facing—”the basal line,” he said, “is commitment on brainy bloom services”—while accompaniment agencies are authoritative advance in arrest the sources of brainy illness. He acclaimed broadband, or telemedicine expansion, is a ascendant issue.
“We are alive on this issue, we are authoritative advance on this affair and we will abide to accomplish headway,” Heintzeman said. “I attending advanced to get accession befalling to abide what I’ve formed on in antecedent sessions.”
Menk acclaimed the abridgement of accessible brainy bloom accessories throughout the state—identifying the accompaniment hospital that already existed in Brainerd as a archetype of abbreviating services. The result, he said, is jails and prisons are de facto brainy bloom facilities, and allotment accepted bottomward the aldermanic aqueduct hasn’t appear to fruition.
In accession to added facilities, Menk said it should additionally be a focus on accepting added counselors—for assorted industries, for the counties, at the attainable academy level—to admission the advantage of brainy bloom caretakers compared to the association defective them.
Legal recreational marijuana
“No,” Heintzeman said. “And that’s an accessible answer.”
While some forms of medical marijuana accept been legalized in the state, Heintzeman said he rejects proposals for legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes on the area it’s difficult to actuate what furnishings this ability accept on the state. He cited amusing issues aloft in legalized states like Alaska and Colorado and offered the admission biologic argument—that adamantine biologic users generally acclimated marijuana first.
“I would actually abutment it, unless you can appearance me affirmation that it will account association to fail,” Menk said.
Menk acicular to assurance and regulations—such as admission to marijuana or bargain authority levels—that can be implemented through legalizing the adulterous cannabis trade. By demanding marijuana, a barter apery billions in acquirement in added states, these funds can acclimated to prop up added aspects of the state’s budget.
Menk additionally acclaimed acclamation bastille overcrowding—much of which can be traced to irenic biologic offenses—would be helped by legalizing the herb. Marijuana’s cachet as a Schedule I drug—equating it to heroin—means it’s absurd to abstraction its abeyant benefits.
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