Q&A: Andrea KiefferRep. Andrea Kieffer's responses 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 Andrea Kieffer's responses:
1. There are 3 levels of government: federal, state, and local. Federal should fund military, maintain international relations, regulate currency, and oversee interstate infrastructure. State government oversees general public welfare and should respect the balance of powers in the constitution. Taxpayers have most control of outcomes at a local level. Therefore, it is important that counties and cities maintain the most control over issues that directly affect the people in their communities. I do not believe in a “one size fits all” approach for programs such as education and health care.
2. A common concern I hear at the door is frustration with school district lines. Most Woodbury residents (who are not in ISD 833) want their children to go to the same schools within neighborhoods. Additionally, many parents are tired of the constant redrawing of lines within District 833. There have been previous attempts to have the lines redrawn but with no success. District lines are over 30 years old, and I have already started the discussion to see if it is truly “impossible” to change the district lines. (We are able to change senate lines every 10 years.)
3. If people have the choice of whether or not to join a union, then it is fine to allow collective bargaining. However, when employees are forced to join as a condition of employment or forced to pay fair share dues, then I do not think the union should be able to bargain against the state. After all, the ability to strong arm the state for general fund dollars ultimately costs everyone – whether it is in the form of less money for other services, or more tax money necessary to pay for the union demands.
4. I support tax reform that is revenue neutral. The state has plenty of money streaming in to replenish the general fund. With the great reforms started in the last legislative session, we have already seen revenues increase and cost trajectories decrease. If we continue the course, we should not have a budget problem.
5. It is not my place to tell people how to vote on the amendment nor do I wish to share how I decide to vote on Nov. 6. Some think this issue is outside of the purview of government. Others think it is critical public policy and directly reflects on our society as a whole.