In Minnesota House Dist. 29A, DFLer Renee Cardarelle is challenging GOP incumbent Joe McDonald for his seat which comes with a two-year term. Dist. 29A includes Delano, Rockford, Franklin Township, Rockford Township and Montrose.

The two candidates were asked to submit biographical information and responses to two questions. Find the questions in each candidate’s statement.

Here are responses submitted by candidates:

 

Renee Cardarelle

Biographical info:

Address –12290 62nd St. NW, Annandale, MN 55302

Education - Masters of Science in Social Responsibility

Occupation -Nonprofit Management

Community involvement -Life-long volunteer: service unit manager for Girl Scouts; founding member of the Annandale Area Community Team, where I worked on developing hiking and biking trails; Wright County Indivisible among others.

Contact -ReneeForHouse@gmail.com

 

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

When it comes to economic decline and recession, it is well proven that government intervention through economic stimulus has a major positive impact. COVID19 has weakened our economic structures, put millions out of work and closed down or undermined ability of many businesses to operate effectively. I believe that as a nation we have tremendous ability to innovate and overcome these kinds of crises, but it requires us to take bold steps and move forward with new ideas, not cling to outmoded methods of operation. By investing in our communities, in our economy, we will keep the state moving forward which will drive revenue to the state. Now is not the time to react with fear and withdrawal. We need to take action that leads to strong communities.

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

Yes, absolutely we need to pass a bonding bill. The most important focus of the legislature must be the fallout from COVID19, including shoring up our economy, providing aid to impacted individuals and businesses and ensuring we have the healthcare infrastructure to deal with this pandemic. A bonding bill that provides funding for infrastructure projects will drive growth and put people to work. The projects outlined in the proposed bill are already explored and vetted. It is time to invest in our communities and get the work done.

Joe Mcdonald

Biographical info:

Address - Delano

Education -Hennepin Technical College commercial photography degree. Masters degree in photography.

Occupation – With wife, owns McDonald’s Studio of photography in Delano.

Community Involvement - Active member of Saint Maximilian Kolby parish. Has been in Jaycees and Toastmasters. Current member of Knights Of Columbus, Sons of the American Legion and Delano Lions Club. Past president of Delano Chamber of Commerce. Served on Delano City council and as Delano Mayor. Currently serving fifth term in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

 

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

The most important issue is keeping Minnesotans safe from the virus and opening up businesses, our economy and balancing the next budget. Minnesota has a shortfall of more than $2 billion and growing. We had a $2 billion surplus before Covid-19 and the shutdowns. Some indicators suggest that 2021 could see a $6 billion deficit. Those dollars are critical for our educational system, healthcare, public safety, judicial, transportation and many more important issues. I do not believe that large tax increases are the surest way to balance the budget. Minnesota is already one of the highest taxed states in many categories.

During these difficult seven months of COVID, many families and businesses have encountered horrible experiences. Raising taxes on them now is not the answer. We have to reduce projected spending and, perhaps, shrink current spending as well, in order to balance the budget.

Ensuring the ability and safety for our kids to be in school has to remain our highest priority. Following the CDC and MDH guidelines are essential in keeping kids safe. Distance learning is problematic at best and not the best situation for students. Our school administration, staff and teachers have been doing an excellent job of ensuring that kids are safe but also continuing the in person excellence in education that is much needed. Thanks to excellent work of school administrators, staff, parents and teachers there have been very few COVID cases after one month in school.

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

I support a financially responsible bonding bill that does not further put Minnesota into deficit.

There are some very important projects, such as infrastructure improvements throughout our communities, and many transportation projects that will improve our roads and bridges and put Minnesotans to work. 

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