State Representative - District 8B Candidate: Mary Franson, R (Incumbent)
Q: Please list your background and specific qualifications for this position.
A: I am a mother of three beautiful children who grew up on a small hobby farm. Previous to being elected, I operated a licensed childcare business out of my home. I balance my family budget and truly know what it's like to struggle to make ends meet.
We live in the greatest country on this earth and our Constitution guarantees us that we will all have the same opportunity. But I fear with the over-spending and over-regulation that is occurring in St. Paul by politicians from both sides, my children, your grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will not have the same chances as past generations have had to achieve their wildest dreams.
Q: The public is tired of the partisan politics that often bog down the work of the Legislature. Specifically, how will you work with legislators from the other political party to get things done?
A: In my two years as your state legislator, I fought for property tax relief, the rights of the unborn, and helped turn a $5 billion deficit into a $1 billion surplus, without job killing tax increases. When I took office, unemployment was at 8.05 percent, and as of August, it's at 4.65 percent for Douglas/Otter Tail counties.
It is this type of leadership that can only be accomplished when we work across party lines in order to get things done. I will continue to work with Democrats, Independents, and Republicans to ensure that small business will be able to expand and create more jobs in our communities. When small businesses succeed, we all succeed.
There is not one Democrat running for re-election that has cast a higher percentage of bipartisan roll call votes than myself.
Q: Many people saw significant increases in property taxes this year. If elected, what will you do to lower the property taxes for average/middle class home owners?
A: I voted to put a freeze on local property taxes and voted for property tax relief for local homeowners and small businesses. (Homeowners, if you haven't filed for your property tax refund, you should.)
If our state is going to be competitive going forward, we need to look at all options of tax relief in order to create a better economic climate for businesses. We will need to free up cash flow for small businesses and provide more incentives for start-up companies looking to compete in our global economy.
Q: Is the state taking the right approach to battling aquatic invasive species, such as zebra mussels? What more can be done?
A: Our state needs to continue to focus on eliminating aquatic invasive species. We can work to empower enforcement officials and improve knowledge on this important issue so that Minnesotans can continue to enjoy one of our greatest attractions: our beautiful lakes.
Q: What priority will you give to energy efficiency and renewable energies? What energy future do you envision for upcoming generations in Minnesota?
A: We should always encourage energy efficiencies. As long as renewable energy is a product of the private sector, and if the market demands it, then I am all for it. But when the government mandates our energy companies to innovate and diversify when the market doesn't have a need for it, we run into problems. One problem is higher energy costs to the consumer and another is crony capitalism.
We have exciting renewable technology on the horizon, such as nuclear energy. As a mother of three children, I know first-hand how spiraling energy costs affect the family budget. Nuclear energy is clean and safe and would be a cost-effective energy source as long as the government stays out of the way.