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State House District 62

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    Ed Stafman
    (Dem)

  • Francis Wendt
    (Lib)

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) 640-3362
The immediate challenge is dealing with COVID. I will be guided by five principles: SCIENCE: Science, not politics, will keep our families safe. PREPARATION: Our heroic health care providers must have what they need to protect themselves and treat us. PROTECTION: We must protect programs which assist public schools, children and families, medicaid expansion, and the vulnerable. OPPORTUNITY: Our recovery offers the opportunity to re-think our priorities and create an environmentally sustainable infrastructure relying on renewable energy, attract good jobs, and address inequalities in health care access, family and sick leave, and wages. ENGAGEMENT: Together, we can accomplish much, but we must all engage in the process, beginning with voting
The Governor's Commission on Climate Change offers many good solutions and I would use that as a road map. I would especially focus on the energy sector and eliminate super polluting plants, while encouraging the development of renewable energy by requiring that utilities and the PSC consider the cost of carbon when reviewing bids for new power. Reversing laws which prohibit community solar would also help. There are also many opportunities to reduce carbon in the agriculture sector. For example, our organic farming sector is booming and we must promote that. Creating an infrastructure for electric vehicles is also important. We can also make huge improvements in our grid by moving to a smart grid.
As a retired civil rights lawyer who represented many minorities and women in discrimination cases, I am fully supportive of equality for women and minorities in the workplace and elsewhere. We must insist on equal pay for equal work. We must also create guaranteed family leave and sick leave, as well as free pre-K education, which relieves the stress on families, which most often falls on women. We must also take steps to curb domestic violence, and continue programs which address missing Native American women.
Quality public education is a high priority for me. The first step is adeqaute funding from the State, rather than passing the burden to school boards, which then raise property taxes. We must stop attempts to divert monies from public schools to private schools, especially private religious schools. We must attract quality teachers by paying them fairly. And public schools should include free pre-K programs.
The first priority will be to protect medicaid expansion, which insures some 90,000 Montanans. There are also some medicaid expansion waivers that we are currently not using, such as those that assist with housing and mental health.Ultimately, we need a single payer plan and I would be happy with any of several different possibilities, but that will need to come from Washington. As a legislature, we can urge our representatives in congress to push for a single payer system.
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