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These comments are responses to the Civic Caucus interview with

State Representative Erin Murphy

November 17, 2017

Fund schools fairly, support education innovation,
create single-payer healthcare system


State Rep. Erin Murphy (DFL-Saint Paul), candidate for Minnesota governor, stresses strong public schools and a single-payer health care system as major items on her agenda.

Schools. Murphy would like to see a school-funding system that no longer relies on property taxes. But she recognizes that might not be possible right now because of the current tight state budget. She says people across the state are acutely aware of the inequity among our public schools, depending on whether a school district has the tax base or a voter base that is willing to raise money to support its schools.

But she thinks there has to be a wider focus on education in the Legislature, beyond just funding for the school-aid formula. She says the Legislature also must focus on supporting education innovation by taking the lead from communities, educators and parents around the state who are generating new ideas and solutions. Murphy wants to be sure that our kids have the opportunity to find their passion and their path in the schools. She believes we must put vocational education back in the high schools.

Health care. Murphy proposes using MinnesotaCare as the framework to provide a single-payer health care system in the state. Anybody who wants to buy into the program would be allowed to do so, she says. She wants to remove health plans--which she says have become "care deniers"--from the center of the system and allow the state to contract directly with providers: hospitals, doctors and nurses. She says the state's purchasing power can drive down health care costs and make the market more competitive.

Other issues. Murphy supports using the gas tax or other user fees to provide dedicated funding for transportation. She believes inadequate leadership and planning have led to many instances where the Legislature has violated the state Constitutional requirement that bills be restricted to a single subject. She says as governor, she won't sign bills unless they've been on the desks of legislators for at least 24 hours prior to a vote to prevent people from pushing things through in large bills at the end of the legislative session.

She believes we must tackle the issues of racial disparities and structural racism because it's a moral imperative and because equity is critical to building the economy of our future. She says homelessness and housing are workplace issues that are at a crisis level. 

For the complete interview summary see: Erin Murphy Interview

Individual Responses:

Phil Kinnunen

Very insightful interview, again, helpful in determining which candidate to vote for.

David Durenberger


John Kolstad

I read the Erin Murphy health care plan.    This is more of the same lies we have been told for at least  30 years.    I've studied health care since 94' as a businessman.  This is another vacuous  Democratic candidate,   And look at what the horrible thieves,  The Death Panel Republicans   just shifted $1.5 trillion from future generations to  the richest of the rich.

There are  solutions to the health care disaster,  but those benefiting [ H- Insurance Co, Drug and Med Device Co ]  are flooding both parties with money through the House and Senate Caucus of both parties and other means  and the media supports this suppression.  

Does the Civic Caucus not know a damn thing about Health Care Policy?     Do you just let candidates say crap with  no questions or analysis.

Scott Halstead

Comments: Candidate Murphy has made wise priority choices, but I would add transportation. I would agree that the legislature hasnít had very good solutions to our education problems and they need to listen to the professionals. I would add, that we need to do a much better job retaining our young people as around 47% are seeking higher education out of state and many donít return. That is a tremendous waste of our financial resources and to our employers, communities and political power. We need applied solutions! I think we need early learning for those at risk, but the additional cost of facilities and instruction is unaffordable locally unless there is excess capacity.

Comment: We will never have good metro area transit with $125 million per mile LRT that goes 13 -15 mph, operates like a bus, has very high operating and maintenance costs, is 4 Ĺ + minutes late 14 -18% of the time and takes 15 -30 years to get built. Denver did it with effective and cooperative strategies, elected regional Govt. with 52 communities, transit is their priority with job producing economic development supplement transit and the state and Regional Transit system working together to build roads and transit in the same right-of-way at the same time at much lower cost supported financially by the residents and transit working with business. I recommend an income tax surcharge for anyone living and /or living in the metro area. I concur with user fees additions.

Comment: First priority is to retain our people and then supplement from outside!


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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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