Incumbent State Rep. Tim  Miller (R), of Prinsburg is seeking another term in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Miller has served District 17A since he was first elected in 2015. He successfully defeated his DFL opponents in 2016 and 2018.

Incumbent State Rep. Tim  Miller (R), of Prinsburg is seeking another term in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Miller has served District 17A since he was first elected in 2015. He successfully defeated his DFL opponents in 2016 and 2018.

For those who may not be familiar with his background, Miller spoke about growing up in a northwestern suburb of Chicago, Illinois. He said: “I was born in Streamwood. Streamwood was the smaller, poorer version of River Forest, which is a very wealthy community near Streamwood. I grew up in a little 900 square foot home with a family of six. My dad worked for the phone company his entire life.”

Miller worked hard to get an education. “I put myself through college; I’m one of only two people in my family that went to college. I graduated with a degree from the University of Iowa,” he said.

Family has always been important to Miller. “I have a blended family,” he said. “My wife Cherie and I live in Prinsburg. together, we have a family of seven children, six grandchildren, and two poorly trained mutts!”

When he is not in session with the Minnesota Legislature, Miller is busy with his own consulting firm Development Partners. He said: “We work primarily with Christian non-profit organizations. We help them with their fundraising and advertising needs. I’ve also done some work with private companies as well, and some years ago I did a lot of work at the Minnwest Technology campus.”

When it comes to his legislative priorities, Miller expressed his concern for the next legislative session after this year’s election. “We’re going to have a real challenge this upcoming year. We are facing an estimated $4.5 billion deficit going into the next budget year. We don’t really know for sure, but most people believe it could be quite a bit higher than that.

“That would have a direct impact on everything; whether it’s Local Government Aid, schools, or roads and bridges. We’re going to have to make some very difficult decisions,” he said. ‘It’s going to be tough, but we are going to have to roll up our sleeves and get the good work done for the people in our district.”

In spite of some potentially daunting obstacles ahead at the state level, Miller insists that, for him, local issues will not be taking a back seat to overshadowing state issues. “Locally, my priority is to make sure that our local priorities remain priorities, and that when it comes to funding, that those local priorities are properly funded,” he said.

Properly funding local infrastructure projects and education is high on his list of things to accomplish in the next legislative session. “We are going to have to make sure we maintain our roads and bridges and other basic infrastructure needs” Miller said. “We also need to make sure our Greater Minnesota educational systems are properly and adequately funded.”

Miller noted that the upcoming legislature will have to look very closely at what they will be doing and how they will be doing things. He said: “One upside to deficits, if you can call it an upside, is that a lot of times you see some deficiencies and some better ways to run things.”

One recent challenge Miller has focused on is the state’s financially troubled adult day services programs. “I’ve been working a lot recently with adult day service groups in our area. They’ve been really hurt by the shutdowns caused by the pandemic. They help a lot of special needs adults, and we need to make sure that those services like these are maintained as well,” he said.

When asked what he feels his strengths are as to what he brings to the legislature, Miller said: “I believe my strengths are two things. First, I really desire to learn what is important to the people of our district; what their challenges and frustrations are, and then to try to make things better for them.”

“People also tell me I have a way with communicating by distilling information down. Working in St. Paul, sometimes there is just so much information that it can be difficult for people to follow and understand. I talk very straightforward and frankly with people. We may not always agree on the issues, but I can talk very clearly about the them.”

That is important for Miller in his role as District 17A Representa­tive. “I have to take the interests of the people in my district to St. Paul, and I also have to bring St. Paul home to my district,” he said.

As far as his legislative accomplishments go, Miller cited two that he is proud of: his ongoing work on the Montevideo Veterans Home Project and the Milan Bridge Project. “Although the Veterans Home Project was not approved by the VA for this year’s round of funding, it has moved to a higher position on the VA’s list of projects waiting for approval.

“The Milan Bridge project faced some challenges due to Minnesota’s weather, but is now very close to being completed.”

When asked why the constituents of 17A should vote for him to continue his work in the House of Representatives, Miller said: I believe there is more good that I can do for the people of the district. I believe I’ve proven that I can get things done. I represent the people of my district, not special interests. People can trust that I will return to St. Paul with their best interests in mind.”