LET Working together we can continue to build on Rochester's excellence

By Carla Nelson

It has been a privilege to serve Rochester these last two years. Despite a 14 percent budget shortfall, and little wiggle room to raise already very high taxes, our quality of life remains intact.

Minnesota has the highest percentage of people covered by health insurance, the second highest medical assistance spending per capita, top billing in the Annie E. Casey Kids Count report, the highest bond rating in the Midwest, the largest University system and the highest ACT scores in the nation, and Olmsted County has the second highest quality of life in the nation! Minnesota is a state of excellence.

Support for our schools, affordable health care and jobs for a growing economy will keep Minnesota at the top of the charts.

As a teacher I know our future depends on a strong education system. I supported legislation to bring more dollars to the Rochester Public Schools and give school districts greater flexibility in implementing the new graduation standards, spending and hiring. I fought off those who wanted to freeze salaries and cut per pupil funding.


We have world-class health care, but it must be affordable. I helped establish the Rx Connect program, which has helped thousands of Minnesotans obtain low-cost drugs; purchasing pools that allow farmers and small businesses to buy less expensive health insurance; and Health Savings Accounts, which put patients in charge of their health care decisions.

I have worked to keep Rochester poised to lead the new bioscience economy, supporting the genomics partnership between Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota, and designating Rochester as a bioscience zone. I lobbied to get Rochester designated as a JobZ site, which has already brought over 100 jobs and will bring 500 more in the next four years. No other city possesses all three of these economic development tools. .

There is more to be done. In a second term, I will pursue fair funding for our K-12 system and reintroduce bills to improve English as a Second Language and special education programs I will reintroduce bills to provide incentives to plan for long-term care needs, limit medical malpractice punitive damages and eliminate the "sick tax." The second phase of funding for genomics passed the House but died in the Senate. I will work to pass this once again and to secure the research dollars that will make the center operational.

There are also some things I will not do, now or ever. I will not participate in deceiving push polling. I will not distort positions. I will not send out attack mail. These Washington-style politics serve only to denigrate our great democratic system.

I am endorsed by the Minnesota Medical and Dental Associations, the Minnesota and Rochester Chambers of Commerce and the Minnesota Peace and Police Officers Association. But the most important endorsement only you can give: I ask for your vote on Nov. 2. By working together, we will continue to build on Rochester's excellence!

Carla Nelson has represented District 30A in the Minnesota House of Representatives since 2003.

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