COLD SPRING (WJON News) -- Two Cold Spring women are running to represent House District 13A. The incumbent is Republican Lisa Demuth who was first elected in 2018 and then re-elected in 2020. The challenger is Democrat Andrea Robinson.

CRIME
Demuth says when it comes to fighting crime, she'd like to increase resources for law enforcement and also wants to make sure the criminals are being held accountable for their crimes.

With our prosecutors and our judges they actually need to keep criminals in jail when they've committed a crime, and not do downward departure on sentencing or letting them out easily on bail.

Robinson agrees that the sentencing guidelines need to match what the crime is. She says police officers also need to feel they are supported.

I'm in a unique situation where I think oftentimes because of the composition of my family being multiracial there has been along the way in my campaign the assumption that I do not support the police, however that is far from the case.

BUDGET SURPLUS
As for the state's large budget surplus, Robinson says the money should go back to the pockets of Minnesotans. However, not the entire surplus, she'd also like to see more funding for transportation and education.

Demuth says the state should not have surpluses and would like to see tax cuts in the form of eliminating the Social Security tax and making changes to the bottom-level tax bracket.

WORKER SHORTAGE
Demuth says the shortage of workers is a big concern of hers. She says finding childcare and the cost of childcare is a barrier for people going back to work.

I would first look at removing the barriers for people that want to go into childcare.  We need to keep kids safe, but how can we change the regulations that are holding people back.

Robinson says she'd like to see a better path for trades careers from high school, to a trade school, to the workforce. However, she is not in favor of lowering the age of construction workers below the current age of 18 years old.

I don't agree with that, and that's one of the proposals that has been out there.  It's unsafe, and also prevailing wage pays a lot of money, and I feel that if we start lowering the age to 16 like they want, we'll have 16-year-olds out there that might not finish high school because they are making so much money.

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EDUCATION
As for education, Robinson says the state needs to address not fully funding special education. She also says we need to support teachers to keep them in the profession.

Demuth says the funding formal is not balanced across all districts and that needs to be addressed. She says she also supports the idea of school choice.

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