Residents of District 34B in Maple Grove and Osseo will vote Tuesday, Nov. 6, in the general election to fill the Minnesota House of Representative seat. This district represents part of Maple Grove and all of Osseo.

Candidates appearing on the ballot include incumbent Kristin Bahner and challenger Dori Trossen for the state representative seat.

The candidates were asked to include their thoughts in statements. Each were asked to include a short biography of themselves and their backgrounds as well as their personal and professional experiences. They were also asked to comment on two questions that were asked. (See questions belows in each statement).

The responses received include:

Kristin Bahner

Biographical info:

Address: P.O. Box 452, Osseo, MN 55369

Education: BA, Gustavus Adolphus College

Occupation: Small Business Owner/IT Consultant

Community involvement: She serves as Vice Chair of Elections, on Early Childhood, Health and Human Services Committees and the Governor’s Commission on IT.

1. How should the 2021 Legislature handle the budget issues and meet school and societal needs caused by COVID-19?

COVID-19 has created budget challenges that have led to a $4.7 billion deficit. Minnesota requires a balanced budget. Any budget must set priorities based on data, not ideology or political bargaining.

Every issue and the priorities we select must be examined through three lenses, does the solution put people first, placing our communities’ needs at the center of the solution, are we spending wisely for the best return on investments for our future, and does it demonstrate our responsibility as good stewards of the people’s money? To meet these marks, all legislators must honestly represent the needs of their own community being mindful of the needs of others across the state.

While the challenge ahead is difficult, I am looking forward to the tough conversations and creative solutioning to meet the needs of our students, our small businesses, and our families to allow them to continue to thrive.

2. Will you support the passage of a bonding bill in 2021 or 2022, if so, where should the priorities be?

Yes, I support passage of a robust bonding bill yet this year if an agreement can be reached. The current bill has strong job creation to get our economy back on track, providing families the ability to put food on the table while making critical investments in much needed infrastructure. Here in our own backyard the bill contains completion of the Hwy. 610 project and expansion of the North Metro Range, providing our officers with the training space needed to do their job well. Our goal is that all members of our community go home safe at the end of the day.

If not passed, the bonding bill should be carried into the 2021 bill with “shovel ready” projects given highest priority. Bonding for improvements and infrastructure are fiscally sound budgetary policy for our state’s economic recovery. I am disappointed this has become a partisan, overlooking the needs of everyday Minnesotans.

Dori Trossen

Biographical info:

Address: PO Box 624, Osseo, MN 55369

Education: Associates

Occupation: Business owner Mind, Body, Soul LLC

Community involvement: Volunteering at a local nursing home and food shelf, connecting neighbors through a Nominate Your Neighbor flower giveaway and running a local program for kids.

1. How should the 2021 Legislature handle the budget issues and meet school and societal needs caused by COVID-19?

I feel we must go through the current spending in programs with a fine-tooth comb and identify waste and fraud in government programs. We could use the money we save that way towards the budget deficit. Everyday Minnesotans have had to tighten their budgets, and I think that our state government can too. We want to make sure each and every tax dollar is used to support the people of Minnesota. With the projected $4 billion+ budget deficit, it is going to take integrative thinking and problem solving skills to reduce the impact on Minnesota families. I am committed to working hard for our community and the people of Minnesota.

2. Will you support the passage of a bonding bill in 2021 or 2022, if so, where should the priorities be?

Bonding bills are often an important part of funding road and other infrastructure projects that are necessary to keep our local communities safe and help them thrive. There are potential bonding projects that will improve the quality of life in Maple Grove and Osseo that I would love to support once I am elected. I look forward to fighting for projects that are important to our community to be included in future bonding bills, and making sure that any bonding bills passed are fiscally responsible.

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