CANDIDATE PROFILE BOX; Name Carla Nelson
Address: 931 S.W. 22nd Ave.
Work history: Former teacher in Rochester Public Schools.
Education history: Bachelor degree in education from Drake University; master's degree in education from the University of Minnesota.
Community activities: Member of the Greater Rochester Area University Center; University of Minnesota Rochester Advisory Committee member; University of Minnesota Alumni Association Member; ROC 52 Community Leadership Group; member of Rochester Orchestra and Choral; member of Mothers Against Drunk Driving; member of the International Reading Association; Sunday school speaker; Commissioner to the Education Commission of the State; National Council of State Legislatures member; Education Committee of the Council of State Governments; Commerce and Economic Development Task Force of the American Legislative Advisory Council.
Government history: First term state representative; Education Policy Committee; Higher Education Finance Committee; Local Government and Metropolitan Affairs committee.
Top three issues:
1. Support for our schools.
2. Affordable health care.
3. Jobs for a growing economy.
Keep my experience working for you. By working together, we will continue to build on Rochester's excellence.
Five questions of the candidate:
1. Should the state constitution be amended to ban same sex marriage? Yes.
2. Do you support taxpayer funding for a Twins baseball stadium? No, not for general fund tax revenue, but tax increment financing, state bonding authority and metro taxes should be considered.
3. Should Minnesota opt out of the federal education program called No Child Left Behind? No. It will cost us $213 million.
4. Should Minnesota raise taxes to close a budget deficit? No. It should be the last alternative.
5. Should the state provide more funding for education? Yes. The key is we need to look at funding schools better.
By Matthew Stolle
Rep. Carla Nelson, a first-term Republican, says she is the best candidate to build on Rochester's excellence.
With its excellent schools, world premiere health care facilities, and vibrant business community, Nelson says Rochester is poised to be the economic engine of the state. She also notes that the American City Business Journal ranked Olmsted County second out of all the counties in the nation in terms of quality of life.
During her first term in the Legislature, the state wrestled with a $4.5 billion deficit. She says the state balanced the budget while maintaining and protecting the state's priorities, including education and nursing homes.
Nelson also points to a record of getting bills passed out of the House. She spearheaded the bill that would allow expanded use of sales tax dollars for higher education. The bill eventually became a victim of the end-of-session deadlock. Nelson also worked to modify the social studies standards, so that they would fit within the Rochester Public Schools' normal curriculum review cycle, thereby lessening the financial impact on the district.
Nelson was a strong advocate for Jobs Opportunity Zones and legislation that helped hundreds of people obtain free or discounted prescription drugs.
Nelson is against raising taxes and says it should only be used as a last resort. The Legislature should address Minnesota companies that are not paying their fair share through foreign operation corporations. The state also should deal with the funding discrepancies that exist between schools in outside the Twin Cities and those in the metro area.
Nelson says she also believes that the state's citizens should have the right to vote on a referendum about whether the constitution should be amended to ban same-sex marriage. It is a matter, she says, that should not be left to Supreme Court judges in Massachusetts.