Hello Residents of District 23B,
The 2019-2020 legislative term was my first full term in office. It was my honor to serve you. Thank you.
I ran to represent our district, because I was tired of wasteful government spending, high taxes and overreaching regulations. My experience in agriculture, combined with owning small businesses, showed me how overreaching regulations, high taxes, poor roads, and health insurance problems burden farmers, small businesses and hard working people in our community. While serving in the minority this year, I worked hard to stop bad legislation, and fought additional taxes and regulations on businesses, farmers and individuals. I also authored and promoted the need for legislation to modify Minnesota’s tax code to conform with section 179 expensing in the federal tax code, so last year’s changes would not retroactively trigger increased taxes for farmers and businesses who traded equipment. I was also an author on a bill to repeal the estate tax, so property can transfer to children, rather than selling it to pay for high taxes.
Helping our rural communities and small businesses starts with allowing them the flexibility to use creativity and ingenuity to fully open in a safe manner that fits their individual circumstances. This is why I was an author on the first resolution to end the shutdown. In addition, I filed a lawsuit challenging the Governor's authority to unilaterally write laws. We have three branches of government in order to prevent the consolidation of power. Our founders were wise when they created an elected body of people, to represent the diverse ideas and needs of all areas of our state, to write laws.
Having worked in and helped many companies across numerous industries as a business consultant, I understand not only the need to attract new companies and high paying jobs to our region, but also the importance of retaining existing companies and jobs in our district. Even before our state was shutdown, in parts of our district, businesses were closing their doors and moving to neighboring states due to Minnesota’s poor business climate. This must change. As your State Representative, I will continue to fight to change our state’s economic direction, so that our businesses, hardworking citizens, and retirees remain in this state.
As someone whose family was out priced by Obamacare, I know our healthcare system needs to be fixed. Lowering the cost of healthcare has been one of my priorities. I have served on the Health and Human Services policy and finance committees. This year, I was proud to be selected to serve on the joint House and Senate Conference Committee for the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Bill. Since elected, I am proud to tell you that several of my healthcare provisions were sign into law. These bills were aimed at allowing price transparency at the doctors and pharmacies, as well as, exposing kick-backs and price fixing within the pharmaceutical supply chain.
Infrastructure is a core function of government. Vernon Center’s wastewater system sent 14 million gallons of sewage into the Blue Earth River over the past two years, it ranks near the top of the non-partisan infrastructure funding list. However, too often, pet projects passed in Omnibus bills, bump important projects, so this term, I authored a bill Mayor Ziegler and I presented to appropriate $7.984 million to fund a wastewater treatment system in Vernon Center.
Last Fall, I attended a town hall in St James to meet with constituents living with traumatic brain injury (TBI), stroke, and other disabilities. As the chief author of “Cassy’s Law,” I worked with 23 lawmakers to champion legislation to help TBI patients with a lack of impulse control who are caught in the criminal justice system seek effective treatment. After presenting this bill in four committees, I am proud to say that this bill passed the House.
Even while in the minority, I was able to keep pressure on leadership to pass gun rights legislation by introducing "Stand Your Ground," "Constitutional Carry," "Anti-Red Flag Law" and Anti-"Gun Free" Zone legislation. My Anti “gun free” zones legislation, drew positive attention when Law Enforcement Today, a national trade magazine wrote, “...this has to be one of the most balanced approaches one could take, legislation-wise, against private business owners who want to disarm citizens from lawfully carrying in their business.” - Feb. 20, 2020. In an effort to stop Red Flag laws, that assume people guilty until proven innocent and violate our gun rights, I started a grassroots movement to form Minnesota Second Amendment Sanctuary Counties. I worked with a legislator from Virginia to create a draft resolution for county commissioners to use when voting to become Second Amendment Sanctuary Counties. I am excited to tell you that my resolution and petitions spread across Minnesota and already, nine counties have passed resolutions in Minnesota!
As a father of two young girls, and as one whose family includes a long list of teachers, I appreciate the need for a strong education system and know our rural schools deserve equal funding. I support local control, so we can empower teachers, parents and school boards. The needs of our rural schools are not the same as those in the metro. It is time, government worked for everyone.
I ran to be your voice. I believe this starts with reading every bill, asking for public input, and being transparent and honest about even the difficult votes. This is why I disclose my votes, bills, and reasoning on my Facebook page and why I stream floor sessions for everyone to watch. Some votes are difficult and I understand everyone will not agree with every vote, but I strongly believe every vote should be on the public record. I trust you to judge my principles, reasoning and overall record.
Having now served one full term, I believe there is a need for government reform to increase transparency, accountability, stop the consolidation of power, and diminish the influence of money in politics. To start, we need:
- Stop legislators from being employed by lobbying firms and special interest groups
- Close the election loophole to stop legislators from choosing their successors
- End the use of multi-subject omnibus bills, so we can stop wasteful spending and pet projects from passing, hold legislators accountable for their votes and reduce the influence of money in politics
- Require all votes be on the public record so voters can hold legislators accountable
- Install term limits to prevent the consolidation of power
While change does not happen over night, change must start some place. With this in mind, I authored a number of bills reflecting these ideas for improving how we govern. None of these bills were given a hearing this year, but they have helped to promote public awareness and are gaining support within the legislature.
For a full list of all the legislation I have authored, visit: https://www.house.mn/23b
It is an honor to represent you in St. Paul. I humbly ask for your vote again. I will continue to fight for what is best for our district. I look forward to learning your concerns and objectives for this office in the upcoming weeks. Feel free to contact me on my personal cell phone at 507-351-0008, or you can email [email protected]
I was born and raised in rural Minnesota. I live on a farm outside Lake Crystal with my wife, Kallie Eberhart Munson, and two daughters, Stella and Gretta. Eighteen years ago, my wife and I bought our farm, so we could be close to my wife’s family and hometown of Madelia. We wanted to raise our children to appreciate the hard work ethic and value structure that make our district great. Our children attend school in Lake Crystal and my family attends church and Sunday school in Madelia.
I graduated with a business degree from the University of Minnesota, and am a self-employed owner of a small business consulting company. I have experience in farming row crops and working in hog barns. I also spent 23 years investing, developing, selling and managing real estate. The core of my career, however, has been spent helping businesses of all sizes eliminate waste and become more efficient, effective and profitable.