The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

October 6, 2012

District 24: Jensen, Swedin seek Parry’s Senate seat

(Continued)

WASECA —

The chamber plan, abandoned when other outstate members reacted the same as Jensen, would have had an inevitable result in smaller cities with smaller retail economies, she said: “Our property taxes would have gone up.”

Maintaining the state’s tradition of providing property tax relief for outstate cities is a top priority for Jensen, enough so that she would support Dayton’s plan to raise income taxes on the state’s highest earners if part of the revenue was dedicated to Local Government Aid and other measures to reduce real estate taxes.

“It really has been a partnership between the cities and the state in the past,” she said. “I see an erosion of that partnership, and we have to be strong.”

But that doesn’t mean she thinks tax hikes alone will fix the state’s recurring budget problem or that the state can go wild with additional spending, Jensen said — regardless of the claims on the Republican mailers.

“There has to be a lot of cutting and improving efficiencies of our services,” she said. “... We can’t keep doing this the way we’ve been doing it. We don’t have the money.”

And that means being willing to listen to ideas from both Republicans and Democrats when crafting legislation, Jensen said. Too often, watching legislative committees in the past two years, she said she saw Democratic amendments rejected by the Republican majority even though they would have improved the bills under consideration.

“For me, public policy is: Why are we doing it? Who’s going to be affected? And what can we add to make it better policy?” she said.

Down to business

Swedin said his business background and the lessons he’s learned were the motivating factors in his first run for elected office.

“I have been a serial entrepreneur,” he said.

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