Bud Nornes - Republican
I have lived with my wife in District 10A for many years and supported my family in the broadcast field. I spent 18 years at KBRF-AM/FM and later was part-owner and general manager of KJJK-AM/FM. I served 12 years on the Fergus Falls School Board...
I have lived with my wife in District 10A for many years and supported my family in the broadcast field. I spent 18 years at KBRF-AM/FM and later was part-owner and general manager of KJJK-AM/FM. I served 12 years on the Fergus Falls School Board and the past 10 years in the House of Representatives. Since 2005 the Speaker of the House selected me to chair the House Higher Education Committee. I believe my experience as your State Representative is a good thing for District 10A and I hope you will allow me to continue to serve for another two years.
AGRICULTURE: What specific actions can the Legislature pursue to boost the agricultural industry for the state and Otter Tail County?
Minnesota's agriculture industry is the sixth largest in the nation. Total 2003 cash receipts from farm marketing in Minnesota was $8.588 billion. Since the state can't increase the price farm commodities, it can reduce the cost of doing business by addressing taxes and regulations. Minnesota has also strongly supported alternative fuels by passing ethanol and biodiesel legislation. The Fergus Falls ethanol facility is one of the latest projects that will add to our capacity. Minnesota currently produces 550 million gallons of ethanol each year. Minnesota also has 248 E85 (85% ethanol) fueling stations, more than twice the pumps in any other state.
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?
Minnesota is the healthiest state with the highest percentage of people with health insurance. That is the good news. The bad news is the cost of health care continues to rise and represents one of the largest household expenses. The legislature has made changes 2005-2006 including maintaining full eligibility for MinnesotaCare. Legislation also provided more flexibility for health insurers to reduce health care premiums in rural areas. I do not support a constitutional guarantee of affordable health care. However hospitals are required to give care to every patient that enters its doors.
CRIME: Are current state laws tough enough to combat high-profile crimes? If not, what new legislation would you enact?
The answer is yes. Minnesota laws are now very tough for high-profile crimes. Example: Life without release for premeditated 1st degree murder and violent sex offenders. The legislature wiped out meth labs and continue to working on wiping out meth smuggling. The gang and drug strike forces were combined because all gangs are linked to drug peddling. More needs to be done to address domestic violence.
STADIUMS: The Twins and Gophers received public funding for new stadiums in the 2006 legislative session. Should the Vikings also receive public funding?
The new Gopher Football Stadium will be part of the University Of Minnesota campus when it's completed. It will be a state asset and will be built with approximately 50% public funding. The Twins Stadium is being built with money from the Twins and a county-wide sales tax in Hennepin County. No Minnesota tax dollars are being used. This plan was presented to the Legislature by the city of Minneapolis and Hennepin County Commissioners. A similar proposal for the Vikings has been introduced. I need to see the details of the Vikings Stadium proposal before making a final decision.
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?
The constitutional amendment has been controversial because of confusing language on the ballot. If it passes, $300,000 dollars will go directly to highways and transit instead of the general fund. I believe that is a good idea. If it passes it could lead to an additional 2.4 billion dollars for highways. The need is great!