$6.2 Billion Deficit to $1.2 Billion Surplus
Through reform and spending reductions, turned a $6.2 billion deficit into a $1.2 billion surplus, without raising taxes. Connie is a fiscally responsible voice for our district in St. Paul.
Committed to Jump-Starting the Economy and Creating Jobs
As a 14 year member of Chambers of Commerce in our area, and a state legislator representing a district made up of small businesses, Connie understands small business is the engine that drives the economy. This past year she conducted several small business listening sessions in our district and talked with business leaders in our communities. More than anything else, they need government to get out of the way, out of their pocketbooks, and off their backs! “I make policy decisions knowing about the need for tax and regulatory relief in the small business community.”
Legislation supported by Connie in 2011/2012:
- Voted to end the statewide business property tax (Vetoed)
- Streamlined the permitting process for prospective and expanding Minnesota businesses
- Froze the automatic inflator on the statewide levy for commercial/industrial properties for business tax relief (Vetoed)
- Up-front sales tax exemption on capital equipment purchases for small businesses (Vetoed)
- Expansion of the successful Angel investment tax credit (Vetoed)
- Increase the research and development tax credit for Minnesota companies to help make our state a more attractive place to do business (Vetoed)
- Provided tax incentives to encourage data centers to locate and build in Minnesota.
- Veterans jobs tax credit (Vetoed)
We need to take long-term approach to solving budget deficits,” Doepke said. Finding these solutions will stop the up and down cycle of government budgets.” Doepke supported the following reforms to keep government spending in check for our district residents:
- Continued to make government smaller, effective and cost-efficient through agency and operations consolidation
- End Minnesota’s sick tax that raises cost of health care with complete elimination by 2019.
- Reduced projected spending by $2.5 billion.
- Included Federal taxes in Tax incidence study to give a better picture of overall tax burden for Minnesota taxpayers.
- Provide property tax relief to homeowners whose property taxes increased by more than 12% (Vetoed)
- Provided taxpayers with more transparency for settlement agreements using public funds
Real Reforms in Education – Putting Students First
Minnesota has always been proud of its education system and having a well educated workforce has been one of the key reasons over the years that corporations have located here and have been willing to stay.
But our education system has not kept pace with the demands to compete in a global economy. Our Minnesota colleges and Universities tell us that 60% of high school graduates from our k-12 system need remediation upon entering college, in key subjects like math, reading, science, and technology.
As a legislator, Connie has served on all the key education Committees, Including Vise Chair of Education Reform. She has taken a lead in supporting legislation that is “student centered.” While she is a strong advocate for school choice, she has also played a prominent role advocating for, and authoring, reduction of government mandates and reform with long-term positive impact for local control in our public schools.
“Student Centered” Legislation Supported by Connie this Session
- Alternative licensure programs for career professionals to become teachers and share their expertise with students.
- Increased reading skill standards for teachers
- Implementation of teacher and principal evaluation, with the ability to use data to determine performance and evaluation.
- Expanded Post Secondary Education Options for 10th through 12th grade students for career and technical education
- Chief Author of legislation to empower parents and students to request individualized learning plans and increase local control of public education.
- Require teachers to pass the basic skills test before teaching in a classroom.
- Ending ‘Seniority’ as the only reason to retain teachers when staff reductions are necessary—allowing districts to retain the best and most effective teachers. (Vetoed)
Connie Knows Education:
- 8 years on Wayzata School Board
- 9 years as Education Advisor to the Business Community
- 2 years co-chair of the Business/Education Partnership for TwinWest Chamber
- 4 years as a State Legislator serving 4 key education committees in the House
The Lake Minnetonka District is a district of 11 unique cities. In this session, Connie worked with local experts and officials to fight the spread of aquatic invasive species.
Connie recognizes the concern her constituents have about this issue because of the impact it has on the ecosystem and recreational enjoyment of the lake. She communicates often with City officials as well as local environmental experts on the issues concerning the lake environment.
Doepke grew up in Michigan, where her father was an environmental scientist for the state of Michigan. “He always instilled in me a love of the outdoors,” Doepke says, “I learned to appreciate our natural resources and the importance of protecting them.”
Connie recognizes that Lake Minnetonka is a cherished natural resource. She also recognizes the challenges of respecting both the public and private interests of those who use this resource. “We must all work together to keep Lake Minnetonka beautiful and clean, not only for our enjoyment now, but also for our future generations.”
Environmental Legislation Supported by Connie:
- Research and education on aquatic invasive species.
- Tighter controls and penalties on watercraft transporting invasive species.
- Legacy Amendment funding to protect water and critical habitat.