Jerry is fighting to provide a world class education to every Minnesota child, and quality early education is proven to have benefits which last for years. Only half of Minnesota's children are ready for kindergarten, yet only 15% attend pre-k programs. All Minnesota children should have free pre-k programs and all day kindergarten available. Schools must be funded at a level that provides a quality education for all children. This means fully funding special education and additional school counselors, nurses, and psychologists.
environment and natural resources
Minnesotans cherish our natural environment and maintaining it for future generations is a key responsibility of the state. Controlling the spread of invasive species, managing wildlife populations, and preventing the release of toxic substances are all areas where the state should take a proactive role. The state should also be studying new agricultural chemicals and genetically modified crops for their effect on the bee population, which has been collapsing in recent years. We rely on bees to pollinate the state's bountiful agricultural crops, if bee populations suffer, so do Minnesota's farmers. Jerry supported Governor Dayton's efforts to understand and reduce the negative impact of agricultural chemicals on pollinators and now supports Governor Walz's push to combat climate change and preserve Minnesota.
Equality under the law
Jerry is committed to keeping communities safe while ensuring equal treatment under the law. The sickening murder of George Floyd illustrated racial discrimination that is still present in society. The state must act now to send a clear message that we will not tolerate racial injustice and not make one-size-fits all laws regarding police and judicial reform. The pursuit of safety, prosperity, and equal rights is more important than ever.
Our tax system needs to be fair and help encourage businesses to invest in Minnesota. A progressive tax system that eliminates loopholes while reducing rates would encourage businesses to locate and remain in Minnesota. We must find a more effective way to run state and local government. By consolidating school districts and sparsely populated counties, millions can be saved in administrative costs.
A middle class lifestyle should be within reach of every hard working Minnesotan. For those not interested in a four year college degree, vocational and technical education provides training for higher wages and stable employment. The re-training provided by Minnesota's vocational and technical schools is especially important for older workers displaced by today's rapidly evolving economy. Jerry believes the state should invest in these institutions so they can respond quickly to changing labor markets and meet the demand for trained workers. Also key to economic opportunity is the ability to organize in the workplace. Collective bargaining helps workers capture the gains in productivity which have too long been flowing to the 1%.
The only cost in our economy which has increased faster than health care in the last 30 years is education. Keeping college affordable for every Minnesotan is one of the state's key challenges. We can do it with a combination of diligent management in the institutions, tax incentives for students and their families, and increased state funding. The state must also provide the two-thirds cost of higher education called for in state law.
Access to Affordable Health InsurancE
Jerry will continue to work with his Republican and DFL colleagues to develop a system that protects the provisions of the Affordable Care Act which provide insurance to those with pre-existing conditions and to children up to the age of 26. However, we must enhance the ACA and MNSure to preclude insurance companies from raising their rates and increasing the size of deductibles. Several good ideas have been put forth by legislators of both parties; together we will find a long-term solution that guarantees every Minnesotan affordable comprehensive health insurance.
Jerry prides himself on being the legislator both parties come to when they need cooperation. In the State House and now the State Senate, Jerry has shown respect for the views of others, compromised whenever possible and put what is best for our communities ahead of ideology. This ability to work across the aisle has made a real difference for veterans, active duty military and Minnesotans with disabilities.
Mentoring our Young Adults
Getting advice on career path and preparation is key to success for Minnesota's kids, and especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds where professional mentoring may not be available through a family network. Minnesota currently has only one counselor for every 750 students, which is dramatically above the national average. Improving that ratio to one for every 250 students is key to closing the achievement gap.
Caring for our Most Vulnerable
Direct support professionals and home health care workers do critical work supporting the elderly and disabled. COVID-19 has brought into stark relief how essential these underpaid workers are. They deserve more support and respect from the society they serve so well. Jerry is committed to improving their pay and working conditions.
Domestic animal protection
Breeding dogs and cats has become big business and with that business has come the abuse of animals. Jerry Newton worked for years to create strict legislation to eliminate abusive animal breeders. In 2014 the “Puppy Mill Bill” was signed into law by Governor Dayton. Next on Jerry’s agenda is dealing with animal traps meant for game animals, but set in recreation areas, which all too often injure or kill a family pet.
Paid for by Jerry Newton Committee, 12095 Dogwood St NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55448. Designed with volunteer labor.