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DFLer Ryan Winkler faces a challenge from Republican Anne Taylor this year in House District 46A.

House District 46A encompasses a northern section of St. Louis Park, a southern section of Golden Valley, a southeast portion of Plymouth and all of Medicine Lake.

The candidates were asked to provide biographical information and answer two questions. Their answers were edited for length and clarity.

Taylor, Winkler competing in House District 46A - Taylor

Anne Taylor

Anne Taylor

Address: Golden Valley

Education: Kent State University and Arizona State University

Occupation: Licensed real estate associate; client advocate for women in crisis

Community/civic organization involvement: MACC Board Member (Minnesota Advocates & Champions for Children – formerly Minnesotans Against Common Core); AmeriCorps VISTA Alumni, and Minnesota Literacy Council alumni for Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners

Contact info: annetaylor4staterep.com/index.html

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

This is a monumental crisis. We have to go back to the basics and be diligent in our priorities with basic government funding. Education spending accounts for nearly 40% of general fund appropriations, leading all categories of spending in the state. With Minnesota facing a significant budget deficit next year, now is the time to take an honest look at the state budget from top to bottom and identify ineffective programs to close the budget deficit and prioritize. We have to realize this is a crisis and cannot be business as usual. Without a robust economy and businesses shutting its doors, how are we to fund brick and mortar schools and meet the needs of those in the community?

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

Minnesota’s economy is struggling to recover from COVID-19 with a $4.6 billion budget deficit. And yet we need to fund public construction projects. In August, the Associated General Contractors of Minnesota sent a letter to Gov. Tim Walz and legislative leaders requesting the passage of a capital bonding bill from organizations representing hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans. The letter, signed by over 60 Minnesota organizations across the state, urged the state to do its job while investing in needed infrastructure improvements, thus allowing for a safer Minnesota while improving economic competitiveness and satisfying much-needed jobs and retention. I would support the passage of a bonding bill. My priorities would be to maintain the state’s infrastructure where there is the most need and support shortfalls due to COVID-19.

Taylor, Winkler competing in House District 46A - Winkler

Ryan Winkler

Ryan Winkler

Address: Golden Valley

Education: University of Minnesota Law School, J.D.

Occupation: Attorney

Community/civic organization involvement: First elected as a state representative for our communities in 2006, I have served in the State House for 11 of the last 14 years and have been actively engaged in a large number of community causes and initiatives.

Contact info: Ryan@ryanwinkler.com

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

COVID-19 has shown us where there are gaping holes in our social safety net. We cannot cut our way out of this problem; only through investment in the public services that make Minnesotans safe can we get through COVID-19 and help our economy recover. Minnesota has the resources to manage through this challenge, and we need to summon the political will to do so, including through additional revenue for state government. We need to ensure that those hit hardest by the COVID economy receive the support they need.

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

Yes – while shovel-ready projects should be the No. 1 priority so as to put Minnesotans back to work quickly, there is also a massive backlog of long-term infrastructure projects across the state. Minnesota should use the opportunity to access historically low interest rates and address the needs of communities all across Minnesota and simultaneously boost our economy during these extremely difficult times.

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