Your Budget

With inflation out of control, we are taking home less money than we were a year ago.  It is more important now than ever, that government waste is eliminated.  With families struggling to just get by, our state should not be taking in a $10 billion surplus. As inflation increases, our sales tax automatically takes in more of your money and will disproportionately hurt our lower income families. In Minnesota we have the opportunity to make policy adjustments that will have an impact.

We can start with repealing outdated laws such as the state requiring gas stations to make at least 8 cents a gallon profit over the wholesale price.  I will also fight against the DFL proposal to increase the Minnesota gas tax up to twenty cents more per gallon than it already is. My opponent voted for this less than a year ago.

https://blogs.mprnews.org/newscut/2015/11/state-moves-to-curb-mankato-gas-war/

https://www.startribune.com/minnesota-house-dfl-proposes-gas-tax-increase/600044503/

 

Our state government has also shown they can’t be trusted to spend our money better than we can ourselves. Among the exposed daycare fraud, MNLARS debacle, Southwest Light Rail disaster, food funding fraud, the list of government waste is long. We need to make sure our systems are actually working for the people of Minnesota and should not be overtaxing our already tight budgets.

https://www.minnpost.com/state-government/2019/03/what-we-learned-from-the-audit-of-minnesotas-child-care-assistance-program-no-suitcases-full-of-cash-but-plenty-of-baggage/

https://statescoop.com/auditors-report-uncovers-the-decade-that-ruined-minnesotas-licensing-and-registration-system/

https://www.fox9.com/news/minnesota-senate-votes-to-audit-southwest-light-rail-project

https://bringmethenews.com/minnesota-news/nonprofit-feeding-our-future-at-center-of-massive-federal-fraud-probe-dissolves

Get Crime Under Control 

Crime is out of control, with a small portion of our population being allowed to terrorize our community.  We need to be laser focused on violent crimes.  For example, carjacking is not a defined crime in Minnesota. I will fight for passage of a law to make this a serious offense. Instead of continually letting violent offenders back into our community,  we need to draw a hard line.  

While we all suffer from rising crime rates, our youth are especially affected.  Whether they are being used by adults to commit crimes or if they are victims of violent crimes themselves, their future is bleak if we allow this to continue.  We need to make Minnesota a safe place where kids can play in their backyards or walk home from school.

Prosecutors and the judicial branch need to be held accountable for the failures we’ve seen in Minnesota.  Violent, repeat offenders are given light sentences and often set free to again repeat their crimes.  As a solution, we can raise sentences for repeat offenders, have consequences for hardened criminals and create expectations that we will not tolerate violence in our state.

Click below for examples of lack of justice for victims.

https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2021/12/16/minneapolis-mayor-frey-mpd-say-there-were-610-carjackings-in-2021-compared-to-388-in-2020/

https://www.twincities.com/2022/02/16/apple-valley-man-gets-10-years-probation-after-conviction-for-raping-13-year-old-girl/

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Education

As a teacher, I know that the Minnesota Public School system funding is unjust and unfair. The zip code

where a child lives should not determine their value to the state. I will fight this immoral funding formula

disparity between zip codes as they only create uncertainty for district operations. School funding formulas

should be simplified and state mandates reduced. Local school boards and parents should be empowered.

The Federal Government does not pay its fair share of Special Education mandates. I will continuously

lobby our Minnesota US Senators and Representatives to uphold their duty related to federal mandates.

Lower class sizes will lead to successfully closing the opportunity gap and raise state test scores. With current actual class sizes often exceeding thirty students, teachers struggle to meet every student’s educational needs. Because of this, many students get lost in the system. These are our most at-risk students. In order to fix this problem, teachers need more time to develop relationships with their students and that happens with lower class sizes.

We all want great schools and prosperous communities. However, neither can exist with the shortage of qualified teachers already taking place. I have been teaching math, a high need area in education. I will push to repeal legislative red tape that has teachers completing paperwork instead of developing relationships with students. I am committed to pursuing legislation that will encourage quality candidates to enter the education field and encourage teachers to refine their craft or obtain a higher degree.

Lastly, schools can not be successful without parent involvement and support.  I believe parents know the needs of their kids better than I do. With teachers’ academic expertise and parents’ knowledge of their students, our children will be fully supported.  Only, with a working partnership will our children succeed.

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Health Care

 

As every educator knows, ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL. Minnesotans need health care tailored

to their individual needs and a funding system that reflects that value. We don’t want to be forced

into one size fits all health insurance that doesn’t meet everyone’s needs. “Medicare for All” is a one

size fits all model that will take away quality care from Minnesotans that are satisfied with their

current plan. Minnesotans prefer low cost care with many choices, instead of being denied care

by a state run insurance company intent on minimizing cost. If Minnesota becomes the only state

with “free” health care provided by the state government, non-working, non-Minnesotans would be

encouraged to move here to take advantage of this system.

Instead, Minnesota should ease politically driven insurance mandates and allow Minnesotans to select the care they want for the plan and price that they choose. I am fully in support of making sure people with pre-existing conditions get the care they need. Everyone deserves quality health care with dignity. People should not be force fed generic insurance plans by a bewildering government website. Alternatively, Minnesota already often helps with the extra costs which occur for people with pre-existing conditions. Working together, we can solve this.

Represent You

 

Turn the district Red?  Keep the district Blue?... Make the district YOU!!

Recent election cycles have been nastily partisan. The fallout has been catastrophic. Family members are no longer speaking. Community members and leaders unfriend each other, and refuse to communicate. Too many judge and condemn others for party affiliation. I truly believe in this community, there is more that unites us than divides us. As a former (DFL) Minneapolis city councilman once told me, “One party rule on the left or the right is a terrible thing. Without balance one part of the population tramples over the other.” 

 

As your State Representative, I promise to work with anyone, regardless of party affiliation to better this community and better Minnesota. Personal insults, temper tantrums and ultra-partisan behavior is unacceptable. I will conduct myself in a way that makes you proud, not that makes you cringe.

Let’s consider returning the legislature to non-partisan. Back then, Minnesota rarely had special sessions, government shutdowns and ultra-partisan warriors dominating discourse at the Capitol. Lawmakers were elected only on their name and without party designation, like city council members. Instead of civic minded public servants representing us, we ended up with severe partisans that refuse to address real problems

Other Plans That Ben Supports

GAS PRICES:  

Walz offered a 20 cent per gallon tax increase on gas, along with a variety of other tax and fee increases that would take money directly out of the pockets of Minnesotans. It is time for a bold plan to help struggling Minnesotans.  (Read more)

INFLATION:  

Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan want to GROW Government as Family Budgets Shrink. We can FIGHT Inflation Instead!  (Read more)

ENERGY:  

Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan Have Led an Ideological Crusade Against Energy Production, Hurting Minnesota Families. (Read more)