One on One With Lyndon Carlson
Wednesday’s news that DFL Representative Lyndon Carlson will not seek re-election continues to reverberate around local political circles. Carlson has served in the Minnesota House for the past 47 years. His district includes Crystal, New Hope, and the eastern section of Plymouth.
Digital watches had just debuted and that same year Atari released Pong, when Lyndon Carlson was first elected. Nearly half a century later, the lawmaker from Crystal says he wants to hang up his hat while things are going well.
“I felt very positive about my work in St Paul,” said Carlson. He taught school for 33 years, and you might say he never left the classroom. Education is a top priority.
He was the architect of the financial aid program for students attending colleges and universities in Minnesota. Beaming, he said “it’s one of the best financial aid programs in the country, believe it or not. “
The lawmaker also pushed for all-day kindergarten, negotiating with the senate and the governor to fund 50 sites. “Three of those sites in our area. Two in the Robbinsdale district, another one in the Osseo district,” he explained.
Lyndon Carlson chairs the influential House Ways and Means Committee, working on the overall state budget. During his time as chair, he pushed through the generic drug bill. He was also instrumental in getting requirements in place for the deployment of wind energy.
“We required in that bill, NSP, as it was called then, now Xcel, develop 450 megawatts of electricity with wind energy. Now we’re far beyond that, but was the seed.”
Carlson says one of his significant accomplishments is being able to work with people on both sides of the aisle. He will finish his term and retire in 13 months. Afterward, he plans to travel and tour the country with his wife.