Savick accomplished a lot in a short amount of time
Published 10:07 am Tuesday, October 7, 2014
My Point of View by Karen Meyerson
Election Day is only a few weeks away, and we have some important local political positions up for a vote. I always research all the candidates, which is not always easy to do but really important because our politicians both local and national affect our social and economic lives.
I have looked into state Rep. Shannon Savick’s first two years in office and have been very pleased with what she has supported and achieved. Her record reflects the tireless and extraordinary efforts she has gone to for her constituents.
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I first met Rep. Savick when she was initially running for office two years ago. I was impressed with her financial, academic and business background. Her successful tenure as mayor of Wells included balancing the budget, and I was glad she had this political and administrative experience.
She is a big supporter of both elementary and higher education. She has supported voluntary, all-day kindergarten, saving the average family $2,500, as well as freezing tuition increases and reducing student debt for higher education. These goals have saved state university students an average of $2,089 over four years and $1,044 for two-year and technical students.
She has also worked to narrow the funding gap between metro and Greater Minnesota schools, cutting the equity gap by a third in just two years. This has greatly benefitted rural districts like ours all over the state. Additional investment in financial aid was made through the Minnesota State Grant Program and over 100,000 Minnesota students are projected to receive a state grant this year, reducing their student debt obligations.
She has voted to allocate funds for infrastructure and transportation projects which will create an estimated 33,000 jobs. She has helped in getting us money for the Fountain Lake restoration, which will result in the much-needed sediment removal and cleanup of one of our most precious resources here in Albert Lea.
She has also voted for funding for Blazing Star Trail, Riverland Community College and Albert Lea Armory, which is now eligible for asset preservation.
Over the past decade property taxes have increased 86 percent. Rep. Savick prioritized property tax relief for middle class Minnesotans and property taxes are now going down in Minnesota for the first time in over a 10 years. She prioritized seniors when she voted to increase property tax refunds for 4,360 senior and disabled homeowners and 2,780 seniors and disabled renters in our area.
Shannon voted to increase the Homestead Credit refund, providing 9,440 homeowners in the area with a larger refund. She voted to provide stipends for volunteer firefighters, ambulance attendants and EMS providers. She voted for funding to help combat aquatic invasive species and protect our lakes and rivers. She secured $1.8 million in funding to control invasive species, restore habitat and improve water quality on Albert Lea Lake, another of our most precious resources.
In order to balance the budget and pay for investments in property tax relief, education and jobs, Rep. Savick voted to close corporate tax loopholes and only raise taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent of earners in Minnesota. In Freeborn County alone this has only meant an increase for 0.8 percent of taxpayers. In other words, Shannon expects that we all pay our fair share and not put the burden on those who can least afford it.
This legislative session saw dramatic investments in job creation and economic development. Rep. Savick secured $475,000 in funding for the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation to provide business loans to area companies to create and retain jobs, growing our local economy.
Rep. Savick and the DFL Party prioritized seniors by not only giving property tax relief, but providing a 5 percent increase for nursing homes, she voted for a 6 percent increase for home health care workers to help seniors stay in their homes. She also supported funding for senior nutrition services allowing seniors reliable access to healthy meals.
Rep. Savick supports equal pay for equal work by voting for the Women’s Economic Security Act, which aims to narrow the gender pay gap and ensure equal pay for equal work. In Senate District 27, on average women make just 76 cents for every dollar a man makes. Remember, when women do better, we all do better!
These are just some of the many things that she has managed to accomplish in just her first two years in office. Just think what she can continue to accomplish for kids, families, students and seniors if she continues to represent us.
She has earned the respect of many voters in our community and has earned my vote to be sent back to St. Paul to continue the outstanding work she has done representing our district.
Albert Lea resident Karen Meyerson is a member of the Freeborn County DFL Party.