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State House District 52

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    Hannah Olson
    (Dem)

  • Jimmy Patelis
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

What are the most important challenges facing our state and how do you propose to address them?

Which solutions to climate change do you think are most important and most feasible for Montana?

What, if any, specific steps will you take to address inequalities facing women, especially women in minority populations, in our state?

What should state government do, if anything, to provide an equitable, quality public education for all children pre-K through grade 12?

What should our state do over the long term to ensure healthcare access for all?

Campaign Phone (406) 200-3068
The state's budget and revenue are always a concern, but recovering from this pandemic without pushing individuals and families further into poverty and allowing even more small businesses to close needs to be a top priority. The state is going to need to do more than just deplete its rainy day fund to recover; we need to generate new sources of revenue. Taxes have become a dirty word on the campaign trail, but we need bipartisan solutions that work toward the greater good of Montana families and businesses if we are going to rise up as Montanans while keeping our communities from crumbling.
Montana must begin investing in renewable energy production and transition away from its reliance on fossil fuels. Public lands must be protected and preserved, and selling them off is not a solution for revenue. Conservation has to come before profit. Regulations must be in place to keep our air, land, and water clean. Parks should not only be preserved and supported, but also built and improved to enrich communities and add natural features in urban areas. As a legislator I would vote against policies that harmed the quality of our environment long term and endangered the quality of our air, water, and soil currently or for future generations.
I believe the solution to this problem begins by addressing systemic poverty and racist systems. Fighting for education, healthcare, employment with a living wage, childcare, and affordable housing all support women while working against inequality and inequity, especially for women in minority populations. I plan to fight for a living wage, affordable healthcare, and a state-funded Pre-K program to empower women to work and to pay them enough to support their families with whatever job they choose to pursue.
Although our state has a great education system, we can still do more. We don't have enough funding, and that's a constant reality for legislators, city governments, and school districts throughout the state; it's definitely true for Billings Schools. We can't afford to make cuts to education in our communities, and we owe it to the future of our state and to our children to fully invest in our public schools. Further, we must invest in public Pre-K to keep parents in the work force and give our children a fair start. House District 52, where I live and where I am running for office, reports that 53% of preschool-age children are not enrolled in any type of preschool, and that number is 60% for the state of Montana (2018 Kids Count Data).
My family and I spent 4 years on Medicaid and the Medicaid expansion, and it is that chapter of my life that motivated me to run for office in the first place. Without Medicaid, I would have sought a job that provided insurance or gone without, but instead, I was able to work in restaurants supporting my family while completing my education. In a perfect world, healthcare would be a right, and we'd all have Medicaid, but until that happens, we must guarantee coverage for our most vulnerable citizens. Our seniors should be able to receive care with dignity, and families and individuals should not have to choose between life-saving medications and groceries. Medicaid and Medicare are the right beginning, but we must do more.
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