Candidates focus on infrastructure spending, housing, in 66A race


Alice Hausman

Jon Heyer

The state House District 66A race pits a Republican-endorsed challenger with an eye on state spending versus a housing-minded DFL incumbent seeking her 15th term.

Rep. Alice Hausman is seeking another two-year term in the House against Jon Heyer.

District 66A is made up of Falcon Heights, Lauderdale, most of Roseville and bits of St. Paul; both Hausman and Heyer are St. Paul residents.

The Review asked the candidates about what skills or experience they bring to elected office, what challenges the state and district face and what they would prioritize if elected.

Hausman emphasized meeting the state’s housing and education needs, while Heyer said he is focused on smart infrastructure spending — not on light rail — and keeping taxes low.

Election Day is Nov. 8.

 

Hausman, 74, was elected to the House in 1989 through a special election. She has two adult sons, one of whom is a teacher in the Roseville Area School District.

She has a bachelor’s degree in education from Concordia University in Nebraska and a master’s degree in education from Concordia University in Illinois, and taught at the elementary school level. Hausman was also a department manager at United and Children’s Hospitals in St. Paul for 12 years.

“I bring both experience and seniority to this legislative role,” Hausman said — she’s the former chair and current minority lead of the Capital Investment Committee and said she has been able to “shape” infrastructure spending.

The state needs to increase its support for higher education, Hausman said, in order to head off rising tuition costs and student debt. She said the state also needs to be better prepared for the housing and service needs of its aging population.

“The number of Minnesotans age 55 and over is projected to rise from 1.5 million in 2015 to more than 2.1 million by 2030,” she said.

Though she has long had many legislative focuses, Hausman said she’s recently turned towards working to increase the state’s stock of affordable housing.

“Nothing else in life goes well if you don’t have a safe place to sleep at night,” she said.

 

Heyer, 59, is a semi-retired religious educator who works part time at St. Odilia Church in Shoreview with special needs adults. He is married to his wife Theresa.

He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in theology from St. Catherine University.

With experience as a youth sports coach and involvement on league boards, along with service on the St. Paul District 10 Community Council Board of Directors and experience in local politics for many years, Heyer said he has “strong leadership skills and decision making ability.”

Infrastructure spending should be focused on what the state already has in place, Heyer said.

“Roads and bridges are extremely important and they must be maintained for the good of the people of the state,” he said. “Perhaps we shouldn’t be spending hundreds of millions of dollars on light rail, and focus instead on maintaining existing road and bridge infrastructure and improved bus service.”

“The issue that is most important to me is a return to responsible spending,” Heyer added. “In recent years our state Legislature has gone on a bit of a spending spree.”

He cited new government buildings and programs, along with light rail projects as proof of the spree. He said he would keep spending in check to keep taxes low.

 

Mike Munzenrider can be reached at mmunzenrider@lillienews.com or 651-748-7813. Follow him on Twitter @mmunzenrider.

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