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 JoAnn Ward's responses:
1. Government should play a limited but functional role in people's lives. The government should provide a high quality public education system, efficient and safe transportation system, public safety to protect our community and environmental protections for us to both enjoy and preserve the outdoors. I believe in providing a safety net for those who have fallen on hard times, have lost their job, or are too sick to work. I also believe it’s government's role to create a good business climate for the private sector to thrive. The public and private sector can work together to create strong communities.
2. I think we are all concerned about educating our kids for good jobs. The economy has been sluggish, and we need to grow new jobs and motivate companies to hire and retain new workers. The political gridlock at the Capitol has not been effective and getting our economy back on track. I will work across the aisle to help small businesses and working families.
3. I believe that these union members have the right to collectively bargain. Unions can provide a balance of power between labor and management. The collective voice of individual employees has historically been a powerful voice, contributing significantly to American prosperity and the common good. We need to pay our schools and our teachers what we owe them. The recent borrowing of over $2 billion from our schools to balance the state's budget is unacceptable and I will work to pay it back if elected.
4. I support a mix of cuts and revenue to balance the state's budget, and only if it helps the middle class. I will support reforms to streamline the system increase tax fairness.
5. I will be voting against the marriage amendment. It is already the law in Minnesota that marriage is between a man and a woman and I do not believe this belongs in our state's constitution.