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 Response Page - Hausman  Interview -      
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These comments are responses to the statements listed below,
which were generated in regard to the
Alice Hausman Interview of
03-07-2014.
 

State bonding decisions have major implications for Minnesota’s competitiveness

OVERVIEW

According to Minnesota State Rep. Alice Hausman, the House Capital Investment Committee gets $3 billion to $4 billion in bonding requests each year, from state higher education institutions, local governments and state agencies. The state's debt capacity policy requires that all types of state debt must not exceed 3.25 percent of the state's personal income.

Hausman contends that as the economy has changed, what Minnesota has to invest in has changed. She says we can no longer think of arts and culture and parks and trails as amenities and frills, because those things attract workers, keep workers and help the state stay economically competitive.

Stressing the costs of homelessness to the state and its role in the achievement gap in preK-12 education, Hausman says this year's bonding bill will include $100 million for permanent housing for people who are homeless. And noting that the state's higher education systems currently have an incentive to get the state to bond for repair and renovation of their buildings, she says the state should, instead, pay up-front for higher education buildings and the systems should pay to maintain and operate them.

For the complete interview summary see:  Hausman interview

Response Summary: Average response ratings shown below are simply the mean of all readers’ zero-to-ten responses to the ideas proposed and should not be considered an accurate reflection of a scientifically structured poll.

To assist the Civic Caucus in planning upcoming interviews, readers rated these statements about the topic on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (neutral) to 10 (strongly agree): 

 

1. Topic is of value. (8.2 average response) The interview summarized today provides valuable information or insight.

2. Further study warranted. (7.5 average response) It would be helpful to schedule additional interviews on this topic.

Readers rated the following points discussed during the meeting on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (neutral) to 10 (strongly agree): 

3. Issue bonds for attractive amenities.  (7.4 average response) Minnesota should continue to issue long-term bonds for arts and culture, natural resources, parks and trails, and transit, because younger workers today seek such amenities in deciding where they want to live.

4. Issue bonds to house the homeless. (7.6 average response) Using state bonds to ensure permanent housing for homeless families will help ease pressure on education budgets because of a demonstrated link between homelessness and low achievement in school.

5. Tap operating funds for higher-ed renovation. (7.2 average response) While continuing to use long-term bonds for new construction, the state should require its postsecondary systems to pay for repair and renovation of older buildings primarily from operating funds, not long-term bonds.

6. PreK-12 districts should bond for building. (7.2 average response)  PreK-12 school districts—not the states—should continue to issue their own bonds for buildings.

 

Response Distribution:

Strongly disagree

Moderately disagree

Neutral

Moderately agree

Strongly agree

Total Responses

1. Topic is of value.

10%

0%

0%

50%

40%

10

2. Further study warranted.

10%

0%

10%

50%

30%

10

3. Issue bonds for attractive amenities.

10%

0%

10%

40%

40%

10

4. Issue bonds to house the homeless.

10%

0%

10%

50%

30%

10

5. Tap operating funds for higher-ed renovation.

10%

0%

0%

80%

10%

10

6. PreK-12 districts should bond for building.

10%

0%

10%

60%

20%

10

Individual Responses:

Dave Broden  (7.5)  (10)  (7.5)  (7.5)  (7.5)  (10)

1. Topic is of value. A good discussion of bonding bill philosophy but a bit lacking in policy focus and priority setting as well as how the benefits to all of MN are viewed in making bonding decisions.

2. Further study warranted. Bonding is clearly linked to the vision of MN forward and thus to MN foundational competitiveness. Continued or expanded dialogue with serious understanding of priority setting and addressing the critical needs must be discussed.

3. Issue bonds for attractive amenities.  I ranked this moderate because the question suggests that the MN history and legacy of arts, parks , natural resources etc. is not part of all citizens of MN. Linking this bonding to younger workers only is not only incorrect it is a disservice to many who work to support these investments each day.

4. Issue bonds to house the homeless. This seems to be a valid assumption worth better understanding.

5. Tap operating funds for higher-ed renovation. Establishing a way to fund repair and renovation separately from bonding is definitely a valid focus. Discussions should continue to evaluate the impact of funding from operating funds or some other special category must be considered so that operating does not become constrained improperly.

6. PreK-12 districts should bond for building. Individual school districts should bond as needed for their school district population needs and quality of education. As education evolves there may however be some educational components that should be achieved thru a state bonding component. This could be for example the emerging need to have some education capability to replace "hands on" as with the previous industrial arts, thus enabling students to better grasp the future needs for education and the work world.

Ray Ayotte  (10)  (5)  (10)  (10)  (7.5)  (5)

Charlie Makidon  (0)  (0)  (0)  (0)  (0)  (0)

Don Anderson  (10)  (10)  (5)  (10)  (7.5)  (7.5)

Paul and Ruth Hauge   (9)  (8)  (8)  (9)  (8)  (7)

Wayne Jennings   (10)  (9)  (10)  (10)  (8)  (8)

 I get impatient with bad roads and bridges. Raise the gas tax 20 cents or more and get the job done. 20 cents when we’re paying $3.50 isn’t unreasonable.

Margaret Donahoe   (8)  (7)  (7)  (7)  (8)  (8)

Chuck Lutz   (9)  (8)  (10)  (9)  (7)  (7)

Tom Spitznagle   (8)  (8)  (6)  (5)  (8)  (9)

Bright M. Dornblaser   (10)  (10)  (10)  (8)  (10)  (10)

    

The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Interview Group  includes persons of varying political persuasions,
reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

  John S. Adams, David Broden, Audrey Clay, Janis Clay, Pat Davies, Bill Frenzel, Paul Gilje (coordinator), Randy Johnson, Sallie Kemper, Ted Kolderie, Dan Loritz (chair),
Tim McDonald, Bruce Mooty, John Mooty, Jim Olson, Paul Ostrow, Wayne Popham, Dana Schroeder, Clarence Shallbetter, and Fred Zimmerman


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The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
2104 Girard Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55405.  civiccaucus@comcast.net
Dan Loritz, chair, 612-791-1919   ~   Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

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