House District 15B – Paul Torkelson

Paul Torkelson

Explain why either a) all abortions should be banned, or b) why exception(s) should be made, or c) the decision should be left to the woman.

First, I want readers to know that I have consistently supported Pro-Life initiatives throughout my seven consecutive terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives. I will continue to support legislation that will protect innocent human lives. Here in Minnesota the question of legislating an outright ban is blocked as our Minnesota courts have determined that the right to abortion access is constitutionally protected. I do support exceptions to protect the life of the mother.

What are the most effective actions the state Legislature can take to benefit the state’s agriculture industry, particularly farmers and smaller producers?

Agriculture is the backbone of Minnesota’s economy and to an even greater degree the driving force for the economy of House District 15B. I support am evaluation of the regulatory environment that can at times become burdensome for farmers especially those seeking permits for livestock expansion and drainage improvements. We should also evaluate our beginning farmer support programs that help young farmers get a start. Broadband access and cell phone service are critical to modern operations both large and small. Road and bridge infrastructure investments keep goods and services moving. Finally, I think it is important that we evaluate the status of corporate and foreign ownership of food production resources, including land.

What can be done to provide more state support for essential rural services like mental health treatment, medical rescue and attracting more physicians and allied health care workers?

Recruiting and retaining health care and emergency services personnel continues to be a critical issue. This applies to both paid and volunteer service providers. One challenge is providing competitive compensation, especially in a time of high inflation rates. Education and training opportunities should be enhanced for applicants who are most likely to live and serve in greater Minnesota. Addressing the need for affordable childcare services is another piece of this puzzle. Finally, the shortage of mental health care facilities is forcing our hospitals and jails to keep patients in inappropriate settings.

What should the state do with its current budget surplus that would provide the most benefit for the most state residents?

Return a portion of the surplus to the taxpayer through significant ongoing tax relief and the elimination of taxes on Social Security.

Invest in our infrastructure by passing a bonding bill that includes roads, bridges, wastewater, and drinking water proposals.

Rural Minnesota communities have an acute shortage of day care workers and in the local workforce generally, which is adversely impacting rural economies. What can be done to effectively address this issue?

This situation includes many of the same challenges addressed in the previous questions. Competitive compensation and benefit packages, access to high-speed broadband and dependable cell phone technology, upgraded transportation and water infrastructure, affordable childcare services, high quality education institutions, law enforcement, and emergency services, all of these have a role to play.

What else you would like to tell voters regarding this election and the position?

Voters, this election is your opportunity to elect candidates who will prioritize the issues you care about; addressing public safety, supplying tax relief, eliminating corruption, regulating illegal drugs, defending your 2nd Amendment rights, protecting the lives of the most vulnerable, supporting agriculture, and standing up for our rural way of life. Whether it is at the mailbox or at the ballot box please be sure to vote and encourage everyone to cast a ballot in this very important election.


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