State Senator - District 8 Candidate: Bill Ingebrigtsen, R (Incumbent)Running for State Senator - District 8
Q: Please list your background and specific qualifications for this position.
A: I have a 34-year career in law enforcement, including being elected four times as the Douglas County Sheriff. In three of those elections, I ran unopposed. I have been elected two times as state senator and am seeking my third term. My years of administrative experience and dealing with and serving the people I have worked for makes me very qualified to represent them for another term in St. Paul. I take pride in always remembering who I work for.
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: One must understand that in the Legislature, politicians will not always get along. This is nothing new. There will and has always been good strong debates. In my six years in the senate, I have crossed the aisle and worked with and passed new legislation that cuts the red tape regulations.
Because of that, businesses now get their permits in a more timely fashion. That wouldn’t have been accomplished without me working with the Dayton administration. The Vikings stadium wouldn’t have happened without work from both parties, and the invasive species work was done in a bi-partisan agreement.
I will compromise when it makes sense for my district, but my conservative values will not always match up with liberal ideas. One top DFL legislator said that we just finished a “do nothing legislative session” because we only passed 250 new bills. I agree with my constituents when they think less laws are good.
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: Last session, we passed into law a $30 million Homeowner Property Tax Refund that the DFL lawmakers opposed. Although this bill will show a statewide increase of 2.3 percent, it is significantly lower than the 10-year average increase of 6.94 percent. This bill was supported by Minnesota county commissioners, and was signed into law by Governor Dayton. It is projected that in 2013, homeowner property taxes will decrease by 1.6 percent. If re-elected, I will continue to work on lowering taxes for all homeowners in our state.
Q: Is the state taking the right approach to battling aquatic invasive species, such as zebra mussels? What more can be done?
A: Yes. All the aquatic invasive species (AIS) funding came through the committee that I chair in the senate. We, in a bi-partisan way, funded $4 million in new money to the University of Minnesota for research. We, through the bonding process, funded electric shock barriers for the lock and dam systems to hold back the flying carp. We also funded barriers for the Coon Rapids Dam. With that, along with education and law enforcement, I feel the state and our local lake associations have stepped up in a big way to combat all invasive species. With the big work accomplished, we must still maintain the efforts in the future.
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 Minnesotans have expended many resources on renewable energy in our state. We should always encourage the public and business to seek energy efficiencies. Renewable energy is moving forward in several areas, and if the outcomes are cost effective, government should not stand in the way.
I, along with other Republican senators, sent a bill to Governor Dayton that would lift the ban on nuclear energy in our state and he vetoed it. I envision this to be the new meaningful, pollution free energy source for our upcoming generations.