im Knoblach believes in making health care accessible and affordable for all people. Changes Jim has supported, such as creating more insurance company competition, premium rebates, and reinsurance programs will reduce health insurance costs this coming year (Star Tribune, June 15, 2018). But Jim also believes more needs to be done, including reducing prescription drug prices, increasing pricing transparency, and making health insurance premiums tax deductible. He also supports increased mental health funding, reforms to help vulnerable adults, and measures to deal with the opioid crisis.
Jim Knoblach recognizes the struggle that many people have in today’s economy, sometimes working multiple jobs to make ends meet. Jim is dedicated to helping create the good jobs we need so we can have a strong middle class, which is the backbone of a prosperous economy. Jim knows what it takes to create good jobs, having spent a lifetime in small business, creating jobs in industries like printing, real estate, medical devices, and technology. He successfully authored over $100 million in bonding projects for our area as a legislator, creating many good construction jobs. He supports changes in our tax code to create and keep good jobs. He also recognizes that while government regulation has its place, it has grown out of control and is hurting job creation in our state.
As a graduate of the Saint Cloud public school system, Jim appreciates the excellent education he received. He believes a strong public school system is, as our Minnesota Constitution says, “…the duty of the legislature.” But Jim also knows how public education has changed, and the new challenges they face. Jim supports the Saint Cloud area getting its fair share of funding. He recognizes the special challenges local schools has in funding special education and English language learning. He authored legislation that passed the House that would have provided more funding for special education and English language learning for local schools. He also supports expanding tax credits for public, private and home school students. During his past term Jim was instrumental in getting additional funding for local schools.
As a parent of two college age children, and former university Board Member, Jim knows the challenges of providing a college education. He also remembers the years it took him to pay off $14,000 in student loans he accumulated during his years of higher education. Jim believes higher education is critical for both students and our society. He was proud to play a lead role in the big increase in funding received by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities in the 2018-19 state budget, and in passing legislation that froze tuition. Jim believes we need to ensure higher education is affordable, and that state supported colleges and universities are both properly funded and use this funding in the most effective and efficient way possible.
Recently the U.S. Census Bureau listed Minnesota as the fourth highest taxed state. Just a few years ago, we had gotten out of the top ten. Jim Knoblach believes we need to restrain state taxes and spending so people have more money to spend on themselves, which will help our economy more than additional government spending. Jim supported using the budget surplus to cut taxes, reform our tax system, and provide property tax relief. Jim also successfully supported an increase in the size of the state’s budget reserve so we have a cushion if the economy turns down.
Jim Knoblach believes we need increased funding for transportation. Minnesota did enact record transportation funding this last budget, but Jim believes we need to do more. He supported using part of the budget surplus to increase road and bridge construction. He also supports dedicating taxes like the sales tax on auto parts to roads and bridges, instead of enacting the 16 cent per gallon gas tax increase favored by some. Jim authored legislation to widen I94 to three lanes and start negotiations with BNSF Railroad to extend the Northstar Corridor to Saint Cloud. This passed the Legislature but was vetoed by Governor Dayton. If re-elected Jim will work to get these passed again and signed by the new Governor since Governor Dayton is not running.
Jim Knoblach believes that public safety is job number one for government. The threat of terrorism is likely to be with us for a long time, and we need to be vigilant and provide law enforcement with the tools they need to combat it, while preserving citizens’ rights. But we also must fight local crimes that impact our community and neighborhoods. Jim successfully worked to pass legislation combatting sex trafficking, and providing more money for police, courts, public defenders, and probation officers.
Jim Knoblach believes the Legislature is too partisan, and that the legislative budget process needs reform. Jim has been a champion of reform efforts in the House. He introduced legislation to return Minnesota to having a nonpartisan Legislature, like it had from 1909 to the mid-1970s.
Jim Knoblach is pro-life.
Jim Knoblach was the state wide leader in fighting against the new $90 million legislative office building. He believes it was a huge waste of money, and that this money could have been better used elsewhere.