We've created a time-indexed viewing guide for the recorded League of Women Voters Forum September 6 between Mike Lehmann and Melisa Franzen.
Video is at this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwoWLZolPIg
Note: The moderator called Mike Lehmann “Mike Freeman” more than a few times during this forum.
5:00 - Melisa Franzen 6:00 – Mike Lehmann
LWV prepared question (candidates were told this one ahead of time): What changes would you make in state campaign finance laws? For example, before each election voters receive communications such as leaflets, postcards and ads naming a specific candidate. Would you support requiring groups to disclose how much they spend, and who donated the money for these communications?
7:33 Lehmann 9:38 Franzen
11:49 Audience Question 1: Which one issue do you think is most important to work on with legislators across the aisle?
11:59 Franzen 13:09 Lehmann
14:18 Audience Question 2: What is your position on state funding for Southwest Light Rail Transit? And what is your vision for rail transit in the Twin Cities longer term?
14:36 Lehmann 15:40 Franzen
16:55 Audience Question 3: The vacancy rate for affordable housing in the Metro area has dropped to 2 percent or below. What legislation would you support to preserve and increase affordable housing?
17:10 Franzen 18:12 Lehmann
19:17 Audience Question 4: Do you support or oppose legislation to restore voting rights to individuals convicted of a felony who are on parole or probation? Why or why not?
19:31 Lehmann 20:15 Franzen
21:05 Audience Question 5: What is your position on reducing Minnesota taxes on Social Security income?
21:15 Franzen 22:19 Lehmann
23:18 Audience Question 6: The Comprehensive Health Equity and Employee Rights Act, or CHEER act, has been proposed in Minnesota. The CHEER act would ensure that health plans offering drug coverage would have to cover contraceptives, too. There is an exemption for religious institutions. If elected, would you support the CHEER act? Why or why not?
(followed by some brief moderator mix-up on candidate names and who’s to answer first, resolved)
24:05 Lehmann 25:00 Franzen
25:53 Audience Question 7: The State of Minnesota has a large achievement gap among different student groups. What do you think the legislature should do to close this gap?
26:02 Franzen 27:16 Lehmann
28:21 Audience Question 8: Let’s stay with education here, and Melisa referred to this a little bit but Mike will start. Should the state and/or school districts fund pre-kindergarten for all children in Minnesota? Why or why not?
28:36 Lehmann 29:40 Franzen
30:55 Audience Question 9: What can the legislature do to reduce or eliminate the high MA-TEFRA parental fee for parents of autistic students?
31:27 Franzen 32:35 Lehmann
33:05 Audience Question 10: If there is no special session, and therefore no bonding bill, public funding for 66 West may be at risk. What is your position on funding for youth experiencing homelessness?
Clarification that 66 West is a shelter under construction in Edina for homeless youth. (Later stated by Franzen that 66 West is housing, not shelter, for homeless youth, and funding was in the vetoed tax bill, not the bonding bill.)
33:50 Lehmann 34:35 Franzen
35:40 Audience Question 11: What do you think of unionization of personal care attendants?
35:45 Franzen 36:46 Lehmann
37:58 Audience Question 12: Do you support or oppose requiring criminal background checks on every gun sale? Please explain your position.
38:09 Lehmann 38:49 Franzen
39:50 Audience Question 13: Last year the legislature provided additional funding for small business development and first time homebuyers, many of whom are people of color. Would you support additional funds to address racial disparities in home ownership and small business development?
40:08 Franzen 41:18 Lehmann
42:21 Audience Question 14: We have one constitutional amendment on our ballot this November 8. It says, “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to remove lawmaker’s power to set their own salaries, and instead establish a citizens-only council to prescribe salaries of lawmakers?” What is your position on this amendment and why?
42:49 Lehmann 43:40 Franzen
45:00 Audience Question 15: This year, California became the fifth state to authorize medical aid in dying. This allows terminally ill and mentally capable adults to ask for and receive medication from their personal physician that they may self-administer if their suffering becomes intolerable. Would you support such legislation in Minnesota? Why or why not?
45:26 Franzen 46:18 Lehmann
46:49 Audience Question 16: For years the electorate has been up in arms about the legislature’s inability to compromise and make pragmatic decisions. This applies to both parties. What can be done to improve this situation?
47:04 Lehmann 48:06 Franzen
49:12 Audience Question 17: The Minnesota Department of Corrections has indicated that there’s a need for more prison beds in this state. What actions do you support to remedy this situation? (Franzen asked for a repeat of the question).
49:33 Franzen 50:26 Lehmann
51:23 Audience Questions 18 /19: Combined questions, candidates choose which one to answer: What are your ideas for promoting cost-effective budgeting for the state, including evaluation of results and benefits against the attendant costs? OR What current expenditures in the state budget should be cut?
51:50 Lehmann 52:58 Franzen
54:12 Moderator wrap-up
54:33 Franzen (Mentions she is expecting her 2nd child)
55:31 – 57:06 Lehmann (Mentions taxes high enough, fiscal conservative, asks for vote).