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State House District 59

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  • Marty Malone

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    Dan Vermillion

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?

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There are many folks who describe Covid as a disruptor. I see it as an acclerant that revealing country's and Montana's challenges. Whether it is ensuring affordable access to healthcare, a woman's right to make her own healthcare decisions, adequately funding our schools, providing affordable housing options, or our right to a clean and healthful environment, this election matters more than any in our lifetime. As a business owner, I know the importance of living within our means, but I also know that there are times when we must invest in our future. Montanans need public investment to fill the gaping holes in our safety net, our education system, and our economy. If government does not step in, the recovery will be slow and arduous.
We all realize that funds will be limited and that the MT legislature will be pretty conservative. However, we must work across the aisle to expand affordable housing tax credits to incentivize multi-family housing projects in towns like Livingston, Gardiner, or Big Timber. We must work across the aisle to ensure have the necessary education opportunities whether in vocational schools or universities. Then, we need to ensure that we support workers through increasing minimum wage, expanding workplace opportunity to accommodate famliy needs such as daycare, maternal leave, and universal pre-k.
It is a fundamental American value that all Americans should be treated equally under the Constitution. Sadly, women and minorities have not been treated equally since our country's inception. We have made great strides, but there is still work to do. I will support legislation that ensures men and women have equal opportunities, equal pay, and equal rights. By funding universal, all day pre-kindergarten, we ease the burden on single, working mothers. By expanding affordable housing opportunities, we ensure that kids have a place to call home while they grow up. And, by ensuring that women are in charge of their health decisions, we allow women to be in charge of their own future which is another fundamental aspect of being American.
I am on the Livingston School Board. It is truly stunning to me how tightly schools have to manager their budgets. Schools are being asked to fill more safety net holes each year - whether it is free lunches, counseling, or just a safe place for the kids to spend the day. I will push to expand daycare and pre-k education for all Montana kids. Our schools need our support and they are an investment in our future. We need to ensure that academic and vocational training opportunities are affordable and accessible to everyone. A strong educational system creates a diverse, strong economy that offers increased income, social stability, and good health to as many of our fellow Montanans as possible.
We need to continue to support Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act. However, we will need to continue to ease the financial burden healthcare costs still put on all of us. As our society ages, we obviously need to take of the generations that preceded us while at the same time ensuring younger Montanans have the healthcare they need to succeed in life. Like education, it will require funding, and, along with access to affordable housing, makes up the third leg of the stool for more equitable economic outcomes.