Environmental Stewardship

Taking care of what we have for future generations.

Without proper environmental stewardship, the beautiful landscape of northern Minnesota and the Iron Range will not pass to future generations. Environmental stewardship must be managed with up-to-date best practices so that we can protect our native species and responsibly utilize our watersheds and natural resources.

Economic Stability

A strong economy is a multifaceted economy.

Northern Minnesota is unique in the diverse economic opportunities available to our communities. Tourism, agriculture, mining, timber, and small business all have a place in a multifaceted economy to support families living and working right here in Senate District 5.


Affordable and accessible healthcare is achievable through more choice, not less.

In 2020, affordable and accessible healthcare is a necessity. However, Government-Issues Health Insurance for All is a single-sided fix that does not fully address the larger issue of healthcare cost, availability, and access. A sustainable healthcare system requires more choice in insurance options, including the option to keep your employer-based insurance, improving the availability of preventative and specialty healthcare procedures, and managing the skyrocketing cost of medicine.

Criminal Justice Reform

Reform and restructuring without defunding or abolishing.

The issue of police-community relationships is relevant in every community, including here in MN Senate District 5. I do not support defunding or abolishing our police departments. I do support reform and restructuring efforts to better and more compassionately address the root causes that contribute to crime, including economic and mental-health related factors.

Drug Reform

Cannabis reform will heal and grow our communities and economies.

Current cannabis policies harm our communities and economies. Adults should be given the freedom to make their own decision whether to safely and responsibly ingest cannabis or not. Decriminalizing cannabis will save our communities in taxes that are currently devoted to moving individuals through the criminal system for possession and use, and interrupt a major line in the school-to-prison pipeline. Legalizing cannabis and treating it in the same vein as tobacco and alcohol will offer our communities revenue streams through a portion of sales as tax, as well as new opportunities for small business and agriculture.

© 2020 Prepared and Paid for by Dennis Barsness for MN State Senate 2020.

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