Dan Skogen - Democratic-Farmer-Labor
I have lived in Senate District 10 for 43 years. I live and work here. I have served with many groups, boards and organizations. I am currently President of Todd Wadena Electric Cooperative, and Sports Director at KWAD-KNSP-KKWS. My wife Dee (a small business owner) and I raised two boys on a 280 acre beef/hobby farm south of Wadena. We know this area, we know the value of hard work and family values. My common sense approach to life and business is exactly what St. Paul needs. I would appreciate your support.
AGRICULTURE: What specific actions can the Legislature pursue to boost the agricultural industry for the state and Otter Tail County?
Right now the state can continue to support E-85 fuels, Bio diesel and ethanol plants. Both offer farmers an opportunity to produce for more than just a food source. I do believe we will need to continue with research and development that will increase efficiency. There are better alternatives out there, but this is what we have today. I think E-85, Bio-diesel and ethanol are only the tips of the iceberg.
I would like to see a low interest revolving loan fund for specialty and niche farmers. And of course transportation issues and farming go hand in hand.
HEALTH CARE: What can be done to improve accessibility to quality health care and to slow the rate of skyrocketing health costs? Do you support a constitutional guarantee of affordable health care for all Minnesotans?
I am not an advocate of constitutional legislation. I do think it's time to fix health care. What we are doing is not working and it has become a quality of life issue. I would advocate for a statewide plan. It would have to make health care affordable and accessible to children, the elderly and our Veterans first, and then eventually all Minnesotans, especially our preventative care. People would always have the option of shopping elsewhere. I also believe prescription drugs prices should be negotiated to help lower rates.
CRIME: Are current state laws tough enough to combat high-profile crimes? If not, what new legislation would you enact?
I believe current state laws are tough enough. And I believe we have enough laws to battle crime. We need to make sure our law enforcement agencies have the equipment, manpower and training to help them do their job.
STADIUMS: The Twins and Gophers received public funding for new stadiums in the 2006 legislative session. Should the Vikings also receive public funding?
No. I enjoy sports at all levels...and I think it is important for Minnesota to have professional teams. I don't think tax payers should build their homes. I can live with the Twins Stadium plan. The Gophers plan is poor at a time when Gopher football is bad, Higher Education Funding is inadequate. Your taxes will help pay for that stadium, and students who are already at risk from lack of funding are going to be charged a stadium fee to help pay for the building. That is not right. A Viking Stadium is coming, they will find a way to build it. I would not want it to be built with public funding.
TRANSPORTATION: Will you be supporting the proposed constitutional amendment on the November 2006 ballot that will dedicate 100 percent of the existing motor vehicle sales tax to transportation project? Why or why not?
I will not be supporting the constitutional amendment for several reasons. This issue should be dealt with by law makers, not passed off to voters to decide. I think the wording is poor, and may in fact lead to no money for rural road projects. Also some of the money now goes to the general fund. This amendment would use all of the money for roads and transit. I need to see what projects would lose funding because of this change. We need to make sure we are not cutting funding on important projects.