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21 Billion Candidates to Discuss Education, Abortion and More at Monday Night Forum - The Globe

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WORTHINGTON — A series of candidate forums hosted by FORWARD Worthington’s Committee on Government Affairs kicked off last night with candidates running for District 21B of the Minnesota House of Representatives.

Current Congressman Rod Hamilton’s announcement in early 2022 that he will not seek another term has sparked a feud between Republican Fulda native Marge Fogelman and Brewster’s DFL candidate Michael Heidelberger. rice field.

Open to the public and hosted by RadioWorks’ Ryan McGaughey, the community gathered at the Worthington Event Center last night to hear candidates and ask questions ahead of the November 8 election.

Education was a common theme at last night’s forum. Both Heidelberger and Vogelmann listed the topic as a top priority, with questions posed by the audience ranging from funding schools to stances on fairness and equality in the classroom.

Regarding funding, Heidelberger said state-funded support would help ease the financial burden placed on local school districts, citing the recent failed Round Lake Brewster School referendum as an example.

“If Congress had passed an education bill,” Heidelberger said of the failed attempt to allocate some of the state’s surplus money to education, “property taxes…would not rise as much as they had proposed.” They wouldn’t have… We need to keep Congress out of a dead end to provide for our schools.”

For Fogelman, the issue came down to reassessing the needs of schools and classrooms at the local level to “eliminate wastage, fraud and abuse” of funds. She advocated sitting down with the superintendent and school board members to learn more about where the funds go.

“You don’t have to rely on the government for everything,” says Fogelman. “We can’t legislate our lives. We can’t legislate schools. But we have to work together.”

Fogelman offers a similar approach to infrastructure concerns and questions about improving road quality in southwestern Minnesota, and overseeing where taxes go is paramount to accountability. said it is.

“If everything goes to maintenance instead of our roads and bridges, we’re all going to suffer,” she pointed out.

Heidelberger used his response time to advocate investing in public transport and said the biggest cause of damage to roads was “actually using them.”

“We are the only developed country without extensive public transport,” said Heidelberger. “I don’t understand why we can’t just hop on the train and go to the city instead of driving ourselves.”

He went on to point out that the majority of rural county roads are in “pretty good” health at this point, according to a recent study conducted by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Questions about how to support workforce development in Southwest Minnesota were also raised as the subject of discussion at Monday’s forum. Heidelberger proposed the development of vocational schools in the area as a way to attract residents and create opportunities to build the skills needed for the workforce.

Fogelman, on the other hand, advocated tax cuts and regulations for corporations as a way to create a more welcoming environment for workers.

“There are states around us that are lowering taxes and welcoming new businesses and new residents,” she said. are overburdened and overregulated.”

Support for collective bargaining and the right to form unions was also suggested by one of the audience. Fogelman pointed out that unions are an area he has to learn more about before he can answer, but Heidelberger said he believes people should be able to join unions.

“Even if you’re not in a union, unions help ordinary people,” he said, citing child labor laws, 40-hour workweeks, and health insurance as byproducts of union efforts.

Heidelberger and Fogelmann found common ground on topics such as proposing term limits for elected civil servants and preventing block bills from being submitted to state legislatures, but their disagreements were most pronounced. One of the areas I worked on was on abortion.

Fogelman has remained adamant throughout the campaign that she is an advocate for conservative Christian values, and when asked about her views on abortion, she prides herself on being a Christian and pro-life. Said he thought

“I think abortion is wrong,” Fogelman said. “… I think it’s murder.”

Heidelberger stressed that although he would never be in a position to make personal decisions about abortion, he did not agree to enact legislation on the issue on the basis of religious opposition.

Noting that not all religions view abortion through a Christian lens, he said, “You cannot impose your Christian values ​​on others.” “…This is not a matter of life or death. This is about being free to choose your own life. If you want freedom of religion and freedom from religion, you must respect other religions as well.”

Monday night’s forum concluded with a final question on abortion, but next week, Congressional First District candidates Brad Finstad and Jeff Ettinger will be at the Worthington Event Center to discuss the 2 I will answer your questions in the next forum.