The foundation of this campaign is focused on our rural economy. We know the issues. We need strong public education, good paying jobs, affordable college, housing, daycare and healthcare; we need to rebuild our infrastructure, including broadband, to prepare for the economy of the future. We must keep our families on their farms, and our main street businesses, schools, and hospitals open.
After graduating from Appleton High School, I went to Moorhead State University. I had no money, no car...I worked overnight shifts at a local restaurant. I’ll never forget walking across the football field on my way to work one night. It was a crisp fall night; the sky was clear and the stars were coming out and I was worrying about staying awake for early morning classes. As I looked at the stars that night, I remember thinking, “I’m alone here. I don’t think I can do this.”
So I found another way. I went to work at Citibank and participated in their tuition reimbursement program. It was a public-private partnership; something that presents options for both workers and businesses.
If we are going to succeed in a rapidly-changing economy in the years ahead, we must lay the groundwork now. Here's what this vision of our future economy could look like:
Jobs and Entreprenuership
- Incentivize small business entrepreneurship
- Increase tax credits for start-ups
- Lower new venture insurance rates
- Reduce childcare costs
- Aptitude testing in schools: Students can get a feel for what they like and what suits them.
- Career targeting specialists: A modernized career counselor, career targeting specialists can communicate with businesses, schools, trades, and students to determine where areas of need exist in the economy and if students have the aptitude or interest to fill them.
- Modernize the Perkins funding system
- Tax incentives for businesses providing skill and career training and for individuals pursuing training in high-need fields
- Public-private partnerships including apprenticeships
- Cap interest rates on debt
- Allow student loan refinancing
- Establish an earnings-based payment system
- Explore models of loan forgiveness after 20 years of payments
- Fight for a farm bill that continues to include nutrition titles, crop insurance, and other provisions providing positive impact on Southern Minnesota's farm families and local economies
- Establish funding to grow the United States' Foot & Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank: The current supply of vaccine is incapable of addressing an outbreak, which could result in tens of billions of dollars in losses across multiple industries.
- Work toward fair trade deals that allow Southern Minnesotan producers to compete on a level playing field in the global marketplace
- Close corporate tax loopholes to increase revenue and simplify corporate code
- Rebuild infrastructure by repatriating corporate profits held in tax havens at lower rates
- Expand access to reliable, high-speed broadband