As an elected official, I feel it is my duty to reach out to constituents for input on issues facing our state. My goal has always been to represent the citizens of Fillmore, Houston and Winona counties to the very best of my ability.

At the end of every email, letter, phone call or legislative update, I ask constituents to contact me with their questions, concerns and feedback. This is in addition to having meetings with constituents in the district and at the Capitol.

And actually, one of the most common places I receive input from constituents is at the grocery store.

Over the past few months, my office has received thousands of inquiries on issues ranging from taxes and spending to gun control to same-sex marriage to funding for education, nursing homes and disability services, as well as a variety of other important issues facing our state.

I am grateful and appreciative to all of the constituents for sharing their thoughts, suggestions and personal stories.

Along with these inquiries, I recently had a legislative survey printed in newspapers throughout the district, which was paid for on my own behalf.

Thank you to all who took the time to fill out and send in this survey. The survey results are listed below.

What do you feel is the best way for the state legislature to help improve the economy?

A. Borrow money to fund capital investment and construction projects - 7 percent

B. Reduce taxes for Minnesota businesses to encourage job growth and economic development - 30 percent

C. Raise taxes in order to better fund and/or expand government programs - 7 percent

D. Reduce income taxes so Minnesota individuals and families can keep more of their money to help afford rising costs for basic needs - 42 percent

E. Other - 14 percent

What is the best way to balance the state budget?

A. Reduce Spending - 51 percent

B. Raise Revenue - 2 percent

C. Combination of reduced spending and revenue increases - 47 percent

Do you support changing state law to allow same-sex marriage in Minnesota?

A. Yes - 36 percent

B. No - 64 percent

What form of transportation infrastructure do you believe is the best use of tax dollars paid by citizens through transportation related taxes?

A. Roads - 2 percent

B. Bridges - 2 percent

C. Light Rail and Transit - 1 percent

D. All of the above - 37 percent

E. Only Roads and Bridges - 58 percent

Please share your feedback by sending me an email to or by calling my office at (651) 296-5649.