A Republican candidate opposing U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar in the fall election will make a stop in Mankato on Tuesday.
Jim Newberger of Becker is currently serving his third term in the Minnesota House of Representatives, and said one priority would be to fix what he called a broken refugee resettlement system. “One recent study has shown that it’s almost $100,000 aggregate cost per refugee,” he said, “And that’s a cost that many of the taxpayers have to bear.”
He added that Minnesota takes in more refugees than any other state in the nation.
With the national debt at more than$ 20 trillion, Newberger said changes have to be made because, “We really owe it to our future generations. Our grandparents and our parents did not hand this kind of debt off to us, and we have no right to hand that financial burden or that kind of a future off to our children and grandchildren. It’s just not right.”
Multiple studies have shown that recent Trump administration changes to the tax code, however, will increase the federal debt load by between $2 trillion an $2.5 trillion over the next 10 years and Newberger said he was initially concerned about that but is now on board with the thought that, “You’ve got to spend money to make money. I get that. And regardless of who you are in this country, I think one thing we can all agree on is that (President) Donald Trump knows how to make money.”
Newberger has been a paramedic for more than 30 years, working hand in hand with law enforcement, and also serves on the state House Public Safety Committee. When it comes to protests, he said they should happen within the scope of the law. “If you’re going to shut down freeways, if you’re going to shut down airports, if you’re going to block mass transit then you should go to jail,” he said, and added, “Exercising your liberty to deprive someone else of theirs isn’t the right way to go.”
However, he thinks more open lines of communication between law enforcement and community groups are necessary.
In addition, Newberger said when there are police-involved shootings that appear to be suspicious – such as the death of a woman in Minneapolis after she reported a crime in progress – the investigation should move along more quickly. “I really do favor to speed up the process. Lets get to some answers. Lets get this thing settled. Dragging this out as long as they have is not the right way to go.”
Justine Damond was shot to death by Minneapolis Police Officer Mohammed Noor last July after she called 911 to report the possible assault of a woman in an alley behind her house. A Grand Jury was just convened in the case this week – nearly seven months after her death.
Newberger will speak to constituents Tuesday at Jake’s Stadium Pizza from 4:30pm to 7:30pm, and at Minnesota State University at 8:00 p.m.