State Senator - District 8 Candidate: Dan Skogen, DFLRunning for State Senator - District 8
Q: Please list your background and specific qualifications for this position.
A: Four years in the Minnesota Senate, 10 years on the Board of Directors of Todd Wadena Electric Co-op, 34 years in radio broadcasting.
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: During my four years in the Senate, I worked across the aisle on several issues, including a veterans’ issue that the governor’s office worked with me on. I served with Republican House members in my district and often coordinated with them on local business, school, county, city and township issues. I have a proven record of bipartisan leadership.
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: We need to reestablish the Homestead Tax Credit and fund it to the best of our ability; increase our local government aid, and push back on property taxes, especially those to small businesses and the elderly, and renters who get credit.
Q: Is the state taking the right approach to battling aquatic invasive species, such as zebra mussels? What more can be done?
A: No, we have not done enough. Thirty years ago, we should have put in place rules and regulations to keep ships from dumping ballast in the Great Lakes, a leading source for the introduction of AIS. Now we are saddled with chasing rather than containing, and it will cost millions of dollars. We need to step up our research and development because science will be our biggest helper. And at a time when the DNR admittedly has more land than they can properly manage, we need to see more of the Legacy money funneled into containment and enforcement of lakes with AIS and those who use those lakes, not on taking more property off the tax rolls by purchasing more land we cannot manage.
Q: What priority will you give to energy efficiency and renewable energies? What energy future do you envision for upcoming generations in Minnesota?
A: Energy efficiency and renewable energy should always be in our long-range strategic plan. Whether in vehicles, home, school and business construction, industry and more, we always should strive to do it better, and cleaner. The renewable energy standards that were passed in 2007 are helping, but I think we need to give them and those who work with them some time to make them work. Five years is not enough. Meanwhile, I see us slowly adding more renewable energy, waste to energy, natural gas and creating incentives to help that happen. Keeping in mind we need our energy to be reliable, affordable and environmentally safe.