Since Matt took office as Mayor in 2013, Lakeville has seen an outstanding 9.4% job growth, and has led the state in single family home development. Upon being elected, Matt set about to creating attractive job growth packages for major businesses looking to expand or move to Lakeville. Notably, Mayor Matt was successful in landing a Post Holdings headquarters, expansions to Menasha, Mendell, and BTD in the city of Lakeville, which will bring hundreds of jobs to the local area. “For cities to have success in supporting job growth, they need a strong partner at the state level that creates a pro-jobs environment. I will be that partner,” Matt says in explaining the approach Minnesota requires.
Matt has also supported small businesses by getting the city to join the “Open to Business” program that provides technical assistance and loan access to area start-ups. Moreover, Matt presented and passed a fast-track meeting policy whereby companies can request a special meeting, outside of normal meeting times, to speed up or keep their projects on track. This has been utilized on such projects like the new Hy-Vee grocery store. Matt will continue his support of the business community to bring more good quality jobs to our state.
My experience was part of Minnesota’s long tradition of excellence in education, but in the last fifteen years Minnesota has lost its way. Minnesota can and should have a world-class education system, second to none.
Education isn’t just about securing our children’s future; an educated workforce is the engine of Minnesota’s diverse economy. During the Great Recession, Minnesota’s economy outperformed the nation because our workforce was able to retool and retrain. In today’s specialized, high-tech economy we can’t afford second-rate schools. Well-educated students will ensure Minnesota’s economy remains diverse and resilient far into the future.
To build a world-class Minnesota education system, family choice must play an important role. When students can choose among different education options, it strengthens competition and raises education standards. Choice also gives diverse people from many areas access to high-quality schools across the state.
But, by itself, in isolation, choice is not sufficient to cure what ails the Minnesota education system. We also need better, deeper and more comprehensive assessment tools to help teachers reach all kids. Teachers are the backbone of Minnesota’s schools. Supporting teachers with strong wages, smart performance reviews, professional development and small class sizes will restore Minnesota’s tradition of excellence.
Perhaps more than any other single factor, families play a vital role in educating their children. Parents, children, siblings and grandparents play the most important role in helping students be ready for school and perform well after they arrive. Schools can and should support families as their kids prepare to learn. When schools and families join forces to support students, Minnesota’s kids will be the true winners.
There is no stronger supporter of Minnesota’s seniors than Mayor Matt Little. He was a driving force behind the Heritage Center in Lakeville, which houses the Senior Center, Historical Society, and Lakeville Yellow Ribbon group. Matt has also been working hard on senior transportation to guarantee mobility later in life.
“I can’t wait to get to the Capitol to continue work on the important issues of senior transportation, elder care, rural healthcare, and fair senior tax policy. Our state isn’t ready for the major demographic shifts, so I plan to get us ahead of that curve,” explains Matt Little.
Mayor Matt Little has made smart, market-driven investments in infrastructure and personnel while keeping per capita taxes one of the lowest in Dakota County and the South Metro. As Mayor, he’s overseen unanimous, bi-partisan support for budgets that responsibly invest in the community while keeping a lid on taxes.
Matt takes a long-term approach to budgeting when he states “making efficient investments in infrastructure now will ensure savings for future generations. When you’re creating a budget, looking only at tomorrow will never solidify our state’s long term success.”
Matt has been a strong advocate for police officers and firefighters throughout his time as Mayor. He has worked to ensure they have the technology, equipment, and personnel needed to do their jobs effectively and safely. Matt secured funding for new computer equipment and specialized personnel to fight against the growing problem of online crime. This program has led to numerous arrests and convictions. At the Capitol, Matt will continue to make public safety a high priority by ensuring that our public safety departments have the support they need to be successful.
More than just supporting departments, we need to support the officers who risk their lives every day to protect us. In discussing the preservation of police and firefighter pensions Matt believes that “they deserve our respect, our admiration, and they deserve what they’ve been promised.”
Additionally, “we need to clearly define policies for police body cameras to protect the privacy of the individual and to reduce litigation liability to the taxpayer.”
I learned a lot milking cows, mucking out stalls, and throwing hay. Like my family, farming is one of Minnesota’s deepest and most important traditions.
Economically, agriculture represents one of the largest multi-million dollar industries in our state. But agriculture is changing rapidly. Pressures from new technology, new business models and new global markets have put unprecedented pressure on our farmers. Those changes also represent huge opportunities for expansion and growth but only if government and farmers work together.
By nature, farmers are environmentalists. They earn their living from the land, and live close to the changing face of the seasons. No one understands better, that damaging the environment can hurt the bottom line and cause long-term damage to the land. Of course, regulations that prevent health threats preserve fragile natural habitats and maintain soil quality can be important for protecting Minnesota’s farming tradition. But, overly broad, unresponsive, or burdensome regulations can prevent Minnesota farms from competing in the global marketplace. The needs of farmers and the environment are not competing or contradictory. Listening to local farmers is the best, and only, way to build the best possible future for Minnesota agriculture.
In the short term, the state should partner with health insurance companies to write down some of the risk of the individual market and make it an attractive market to participate in again.
In the long term, we need to change the laws so that non-employer entities, such as the Farm Bureau, can create group health insurance for their members which would allow insurance companies to pool risk again, driving down the cost for folks. And, to utilize free market competition, we should create price transparency in our health care costs so that consumers can shop around for their health care. This open competition would help reduce the overall cost. Finally, we need to continue to push the use of technology and prevention as a way to prevent health care costs, and we need Congress to allow negotiations of drug prices to lower the cost of prescriptions.