Q&A: Ted LillieSen. Ted Lillie responds to a Q&A.
The Bulletin asked legislative candidates the following questions:
1. What role do you think government should play in people’s lives?
2. As you see it, what are the most pressing local issues to the residents in your district?
3. Do you believe the state’s public unions, like Education Minnesota, should retain collective bargaining power? Explain.
4. Would you support a tax increase to help balance the state’s budget? Explain.
5. Will you be voting for or against the marriage amendment at the polls? Explain your reasons.
Here are Sen. Ted Lillie's responses:
1. We are living at a historic crossroad. Families continue to struggle for their economic survival, experiencing stubborn unemployment, foreclosures and a growing concern for their future. My goal is to regenerate a sense of order and trust between our government and the people. To bring back a philosophy that government exists to serve the people, not the other way around. Minnesotans compete on a world stage. We are a leading community when our residents have access to a quality education, are surrounded by a sound infrastructure, find employment in enriching jobs and government services are delivered with a businesslike efficiency.
2. As I have been knocking on your doors to discuss our state’s future, the resounding consistent message has been: Jobs, jobs, jobs! This is accomplished through pro-growth legislation that develops a competitive workforce, limits over regulation, assures reliable cost effective energy, delivers fiscally responsible government services and reduces the unfair burden of taxes. Today, Woodbury store fronts are filled with successful businesses again, new homes are being built and 3M plans to build a state-of-the-art research facility right here at its Maplewood campus. This great news demonstrates our homegrown businesses once again have confidence to invest in job creation.
3. You are the consumer who receives services from public employees. Whether union members or not, performance should be judged based on the quality of service provided. Our students compete in a dynamic, ever changing world, our education system needs to be just as nimble. Educators should be agents of change rather than protectors of the status quo. Last In-First Out tenure protection is one of those roadblocks to excellence. Thirty-nine states allow measures of quality performance to be considered when teacher layoffs are required. Our community is blessed with many fantastically gifted educators. Our children deserve the very best.
4. When the people of Woodbury elected me two years ago, the state was facing a $5.2 billion deficit. Our state unemployment rate was 7.1 percent. Today, our state has begun to turn the corner back towards success. Unemployment has stabilized at 5.9 percent, well below the national average of 8.1 percent. The state budget has improved from that deficit to a $1.2 billion surplus. This was accomplished by responsibly managing the state’s budget, and by the fact that Minnesota job creators have hired 80,000 more workers who are again paying taxes. All of this has been accomplished without raising taxes.
5. Minnesota’s Marriage definition was made law by a DFL controlled state Senate with a bi-partisan legislative vote in 1997 while Arne Carlson was governor. There was a 2010 unsuccessful legal challenge to this law in Hennepin County. In other states, judges have overturned state laws. I voted in support of placing the question of marriage on the ballot because I believe that this issue should not be decided by a judge, or by one governor or by 201 legislators. I believe you have the right to make this important constitutional decision.