The Free Press, Mankato, MN

St. Peter news

February 9, 2013

Quist stresses legislative experience as a plus in run for seat

(Continued)

The legislation didn’t bring the dramatic transformation in welfare programs he sought because federal law also needed to change, something that didn’t happen for another decade, Quist said.

Still, he said his success with that 1984 bill demonstrates his legislative skills and can be duplicated in changing how Medicaid is administered in Minnesota. He also predicts that implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act is going to be problematic and that he will be able to offer potential solutions — even in a DFL House.

Talking taxes, energy

Quist opposes any tax increases aimed at eliminating the state’s projected $1.1 billion budget shortfall, instead supporting spending reductions. On other fiscal issues, he said he isn’t rigid in his positions.

Quist said he could probably support a higher income tax on top earners if the revenue was used to boost the size of the exemption on the Minnesota estate tax — a tax he said is hitting average farms hard because it hasn’t kept pace with inflation in land prices.

He said he would push to make sure District 19A gets its share of state bonding projects and would push for improvements to Highway 14, particularly a safety upgrade of the intersection of Highways 14 and 111 in Nicollet.

Quist opposes the state’s renewable energy mandate, which requires even rural electric co-ops to produce 25 percent of their electricity from sources such as wind turbines.

“I’d really like to see if we can’t roll that back because that’s really driving up the cost of electricity for farms and homeowners and businesses,” said Quist, who doesn’t believe global warming is caused by power plants and other human activity.

He would argue against state budget increases for all-day kindergarten and pre-kindegarten education programs, seeing little lasting academic benefit from those programs. Instead, more resources should be directed to gifted and talented students, said Quist, who believes those students have been shortchanged by the federal education policy.

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