October 31, 2002
1. Do you feel Missouri will have to increase taxes in order to improve the state's highway and transportation systems?
I feel that the people of Missouri are not ready to raise taxes until the Legislature and Highway Commission make some changes. The legislature is going to have to stop diversions of monies from transportation funds to things like Department of Revenue ($55 million). I feel that one-half of the current 4% motor vehicle sales tax (about $130 million) should go to highway funding instead of to general revenue.
The Highway commission and MoDOT are going to have to be more responsible and use a least cost approach to highway construction projects. The latest Highway 61 project for the remaining 14.5 miles just revealed last Thursday night at Canton appeared to have been the least costly of the three proposals presented to date, and is by far the most accepted by adjacent landowners that I had talked with. After all of these changes are done, we should see if there is a need for more money, but not before the changes.
2. Agriculture is the life force of our community. What types of legislation do you support to help local farmers?
I would work for ways for family farmers to add value to their production. These could range from finding better markets for identity preserved crops and livestock, to processing ag products into ethanol, special corn flour, soy diesel, steaks, pork chops, or ice cream. To get these projects started takes venture capital, market planning expertise and incentives for member investors, such as tax credits. (I would fight to allow tax credits to be used on quarterly filings of businesses that buy them.)
Farmers also face many unnecessary regulations, and I will work to see that the Missouri Department of Natural Resources be more accountable by doing impact studies on regulations and see that they respond to questions and get permits done in a responsible manner.
3. A tight budget forced plenty of debate over funding for education. Do you feel that maintaining full funding for the foundation formula is a top priority?
I do feel that maintaining full funding for the foundation formula is a top priority!! But above full funding of the foundation formula from general revenue, I would like to see the legislature restore accountability by using the gaming revenues in a classroom trust fund for education and giving to schools on a per pupil basis like the people of Missouri voted to do. This will not skew the foundation formula.
4. Concealed weapons have been a topic of debate for several years in our state. Do you favor legislation that would allow law-abiding citizens the right to carry concealed weapons?
I am a firm believer in the Second Amendment and do believe in allowing properly trained law-abiding citizens the right to carry concealed weapons. This is a way for law-abiding citizens to protect themselves against criminals. Criminals do prefer unarmed victims.
5. Health care costs continue to skyrocket. What can we do on a state level to help our senior citizens and residents as a whole to be able to afford the necessary medication and treatment?
This is a big problem and many things have to be done. I will work for tort reform and will work to stop frivolous lawsuits against doctors, hospitals, and drug companies, which drive up their costs which they pass along. I will work to cut fraud in Medicaid claims so that those most in need get what they need most: good care. I will work to allow doctors to treat their patients and not be dictated to by insurance companies, HMOs, and lawyers. Another program that might work in Missouri is to set up a mutual self-insurance program for doctors.
6. Why should I vote for you? Please name and explain one top platform issue that makes you the best candidate for the job.
My one top platform issue would be Accountability in State Government. I will fight to make the first district a better place to live, raise our families, and take care of our elderly by putting accountability back in state government! I will strive to see that gaming revenue goes for education, gaming gate fees go to veterans, highway funds go to build and repair roads and bridges, and nursing home funds (IGT) go to nursing homes. I feel a promise made should be a promise kept.
BRIAN MUNZLINGER BIO
Brian Munzlinger is a third generation farmer in Lewis County and has been actively farming for 28 years. He graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia, with a BS degree in Agriculture, and a teaching certificate in Agriculture Education.
He and his wife, Michele, live in rural Williamstown and have two children, Clint (17) and Lea (14) who attend Canton R-V schools. Brian has been a member of the Farm Bureau for approximately 24 years and has twice been elected president of the Lewis County Farm Bureau. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Ursa Farmers Coop. Brian serves as a 4-H project leader and has been a former member of the Canton Boy Scout troop council. He is a deacon and Sunday school teacher at Bunker Hill Christian Church.
Brian was instrumental in forming the steering committee to develop the Northeast Missouri Ethanol Coop at Macon and is now a board member of Northeast Missouri Grain Processors. He was appointed in 2001 by Governor Holden to serve on the Missouri Ethanol and other Renewable Fuel Sources Commission.
Munzliner is a member of the UMC Greenley Research Center advisory board. He is the past president and treasurer of Missouri Corn Growers Association, past Chairman of the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council. Munzlinger served as Director of the National Corn Growers Association, and the National Corn Growers Public Policy Committee, and is a member of the Missouri Soybean Association.