Rep. Joe Radinovich, DFL-Crosby, the youngest member of the Minnesota Legislature, will look to gain seniority by winning re-election to the House District 10B seat.
His announcement on Friday set in place a likely rematch with announced GOP candidate Dale Lueck, 64, of Aitkin. Radinovich won that race by a little more than 1 percent or 323 votes.
Radinovich, 27, said people he talked to were happy that after a decade of school cuts, historic investments were made in education during the last session, including funding for all-day kindergarten, a payback of the money the state owed school districts and a college tuition freeze. He said the budget also included two education levy equalization measures he chief-authored a statewide general education levy and a provision that directs additional state aid to districts that have no levy or an ineffective one.
The DFLer also pointed to $140 million in direct property tax relief through the expanded Homeowner Credit Refund and Renter’s Credit. Radinovich said he authored a bill that was included in the budget to provide for a $346 million tax cut for businesses through a reduction in the rate that employers pay on unemployment insurance.
After his first term Radinovich said voters can compare statements he made identifying education and property taxes as his primary issues and compare then to his actions in the Legislature. Since he as taken office, he said, the unemployment rate has dropped and business taxes have been cut.
Responding to criticism of MNsure and the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), Radinovich said anyone can identify a problem but that it takes persistence, dedication and understanding to solve a problem. He said he’d be interested in hearing what solutions his potential opponent or anyone else would propose for the health care problem.
“The ACA may not be perfect but it can be improved upon.” he said.
Noting that he experienced frustration as helped a relative navigate through the MNsure site, he said they were eventually able to find appropriate coverage at a reduced price.
“The thing about a website is that it can be fixed,” he said. “People like the basic premise,” referring to the ability of people with pre-existing conditions to find coverage, the affordability and the ability for young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance for a longer period of time.
Radinovich said he’s a full-time legislator but said he currently is working part-time for the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents federal workers. He said that part-time job will end before the Legislature begins.
The representative is a 2004 graduate of Crosby-Ironton High School. He also studied political science at Macalester College in St. Paul.