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These comments are responses to the Civic Caucus interview with

Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson
November 3, 2017

Dip into general fund for transportation,
Offer private-school vouchers to some families,
Veto legislative bills not restricted to single subject


  • Minnesota Republican gubernatorial candidate and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson says he is running for governor because he wants to give people more control over their own money, health care and businesses. He believes government has taken too much control over the past 50 years. He says he is the only candidate for governor who can address the rural/urban/suburban divide.
  • Johnson advocates the following positions:
  • Transportation funding: Don't look to the gas tax for long-term financing of Minnesota's transportation needs, because revenue from the tax will continue to drop. Rely on at least some money from the general fund. 
  • Transit: Stop building light-rail transit (LRT). Spend more money on improving the bus system, which is more flexible, much less expensive and can get people where they need to go. 
  • K-12 education: Expand school choice to include private-school vouchers, at least for families whose children are enrolled in schools that are not performing. Simplify the education funding system. Make practical and technical training based on employers' needs available in high schools. Put less emphasis on standardized tests to measure school performance.
  • Public-policy process: Veto any legislative bill not meeting the state Constitutional requirement that each bill be restricted to a single subject. Veto any bill not posted for at least 48 hours before debate on the bill begins. Enlist the help of Democrats who agree with his priorities. 
  • Health care: Take back state control of health care, whether through elimination of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or waivers. Ensure competition among insurers and among providers. Eliminate mandates in health care and give people more options. Allow individuals receiving subsidized health insurance on a government plan the option of taking that money and using it to buy insurance in the market. 
  • Business climate: We tax too much and have too many regulations. Make the regulatory process move at the speed of business, not at the speed of government.

For the complete interview summary see:  Jeff Johnson Interview

Individual Responses:

Scott Halstead

Comment: I concur on the gas tax per mile will decline, as vehicles use of petroleum declines. Perhaps a vehicle license road tax based upon vehicle weight and mileage.

Comment: LRT is a waste. Buses, including Bus Rapid Transit, is a much better option. 76% of the population and 70% of the jobs are in the suburbs. There needs to be transitin the suburbs with interconnectivity to the central cities. There needs to be business and transit management working together on business location, efficient use of land, partnering on use of parking spaces, ride sharing, working at home and any other alternatives that relieve impact upon roads.

Comment: There shouldnít be any public funding for private schools. We already have too many problems with charter schools and open enrolment. Rapid transfer of studentsnegates planning for instruction, class management, facilities and taxation on the gainingdistricts. There needs to much less emphasis on extracurricular activities. We need to increase the hours of instruction. There needs to be more parenting classes and appropriate consequences for disruptive students and their parents.

Comment: I donít want public finance for private schools

Comment: The health insurance business is interested only in filling their suitcases with $. Politicianís, the FDA have been bought and paid for by the health care industry. We have a corrupt healthcare industry that does not provide care in the best interest of the customer. Individuals are making very poor decisions on consuming items that are detrimental to their health and cost society. Insurance puts the burden on the risk pool and not enough on those carrying out the risky behavior. Increased alcohol and tobacco taxes and increased costs placed on the consuming detrimental items seem to be appropriate, but then we have illegal substances and the effects upon others where there isnít $ collected.

: A combination of bonds and device tracking for those released.

: In the fields of air, water and land! I have not heard of an alternative to regulation for those that leave society to clean up their messes. Bonding, combined with inspecting, testing and follow up action is a possible solution. Bonding companies will determine the risk. Government has to set and enforce the standardsand business pay for the bonds, testing and the bonding company for corrective action.


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

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



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