Agriculture & Rural Economy
Agriculture is an important part of our economy in Otter Tail County. It provides livelihoods for many families and has defined our culture. Farmers should have a fair shot and a fair market. We also need a strong economy that will give us the opportunity to work for a living wage. I support:
- Making healthcare more affordable for our farmers and small business owners (see Healthcare below)
- Increasing public investment in agricultural research: The Forever Green Initiative, our public crop breeding programs, and uses for new crops.
- Re-establish a strong University of Minnesota Agricultural Extension System, with an emphasis on local research
- Maintain our efforts to build good relationships with our trading partners.
Addiction & the Opioid Crisis
Addiction has been plaguing our communities for too long. I believe that we need comprehensive treatment solutions available to people who are struggling with the disease. I strongly support providing resources to families, and especially children, who find themselves in unstable situations. Additionally, the pharmaceutical industry should be held accountable for any predatory pharmaceutical advertising. I support:
- The Penny-a-Pill fee to help fund treatment programs.
- Working with doctors and hospitals to implement opiate best management practices
- Increased investment in mental health treatment and infrastructure
- Increased resources available in the schools for children who come from families that struggle with addiction
I believe in responsible budgeting. Minnesota needs to have a rainy day fund, not a blank check to borrow from our schools.
All people are created equal. We all want to live happy lives with security and freedom from oppression. I will work to make sure every Minnesotan has access to the opportunities that have made the United States an economic and cultural powerhouse. I support:
- The creation of jobs that support families
- Closing the acheivement gap through increased funding to schools
- Funding follow-up care programs for victims of rape and sexual assault and ensuring that sexual assault forensic exams remain free to victims as required by the federal Violence Against Women Act.
- Address the shortage of Direct Support Professionals by supporting contract negotiations that increase wages, benefits, and funds for training.
- Stopping the criminalization of drug use and starting to fund treatment options. Jails and hospitals bear the brunt of our inability to properly deal with mental health and addiction.
I believe in a strong public education system. I believe our students do best when they are well-fed, free from the threat of harm, and provided with the resources they need to succeed. I believe our teachers should be fairly compensated and supported in their endeavors to prepare the next generation of leaders. I support:
- Increasing teacher pay. We have more licensed teachers in Minnesota that have left the teaching profession than are currently in it.
- Re-evaluating school funding models to rely more on wholistic student acheivement
- Returning State Aid to schools to 2003-funding levels. This would decrease districts’ reliance on operating levies, which are passed at much lower rates outside of the urban centers of Minnesota.
Environment & Energy
Climate change is here, whether we believe it or not. I believe Otter Tail County has far too much to lose to ignore it. I support the development of a diverse energy grid that provides local jobs, a secure energy supply, and keeps energy prices affordable for families. Additionally, I believe we should protect the soil and water resources that are the cornerstone of our agricultural and tourism sectors. READ MORE
- Funding our State Parks and Trails System
- Increasing the amount of locally produced energy here in Minnesota
- Increasing public investment in our University of Minnesota Agricultural Extension Program so farmers have the tools and information they need to be good stewards in a changing agricultural system
- Ensure that constitutionally-dedicated funds go towards their original use (Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment; Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund)
I believe that quality healthcare should be accessible to all. Minnesota has been a leader in the nation for implementing effective healthcare policies and I intend to support that leadership into the future. I support the following policies:
- Requiring insurers to include Mental Health Care and Substance Abuse Services as part of their Minimal Essential Coverage
- No denial of care for pre-existing conditions
- Developing a drug recovery program, similar to that of SafeNet Rx in Iowa: https://safenetrx.org/
- A MinnesotaCare buy-in option
- Requiring hosptals, clinics, and surgery centers to be more transparent about their cost of services.
- Encouraging further development of telemedicine options with our regional healthcare providers
- Fully funding the Minnesota Crisis Hotline, which provides services to individuals facing mental health crises.