What is the most pressing issue to the University and how do you plan to deal with it?
I think the most pressing issue to the University is the University budget, so that deals with the state budget.
I think we really have to have a sensible approach to budgeting and a sensible approach to both reforming the budget for looking at ways we can save money … and also a sensible amount of increasing revenue on taxes.
What is your stance on the upcoming marriage amendment?
Firmly opposed, because it’s totally unnecessary. To put something like that in the constitution is unconscionable. It has absolutely no public benefit. Marriage may be in trouble, but it’s not because of homosexual relationships.
What is your stance on the upcoming voter ID amendment?
I have a strong opposition against it. People think it’s very reasonable that they show ID all the time. When you point out that the ID you could show won’t work, it goes a long way.
Should Minnesota invest in alternate forms of energy?
Absolutely. You just have to go through Iowa and look at the huge number of wind farms there. I’m not a big fan of ethanol from coal, but I think the next step is to do ethanol from other biological wastes. We need some research on how you convert the ones that were made for corn to a better source.
With the Central Corridor Light Rail set to be finished in the coming years, should Minnesota further invest in mass transit?
Absolutely. In fact, plans being made for the Vikings stadium ought not have any emphasis on parking [because of further mass transit investments].
What would you do to spur economic growth in Minnesota?
The most important thing is emphasis on the kind of quality education that fills the kinds of jobs that need filling.
As tuition rises, what, if anything, would you do to address affordability for students?
I don’t think it should rise as fast as it has risen. … I’ve had a bill at various times that allows students who stay in the state and are employed in the state to get big credits off on the payment back on their loans. I’m also probably the only lawmaker who’s marched in a student demonstration against higher tuition.
UMN students have traveled to Florida colleges to collaborate with students on various projects.
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