Montana citizens are facing extraordinary uncertainty. The COVID-19 pandemic along with racial tension and political unrest has created a feeling of uncertainty with education, employment, the economy, finances, relationships, and physical and mental health. Uncertainty can be a time of opportunity, and this election is crucial to move Montana forward. In the legislature, I will work towards supporting our families and providing the services they need including affordable and accessible health care, affordable housing, adequate childcare and well-funded public education including pre-k for all. I will advocate for keeping our public lands in public hands and protecting our environment.
We are in a climate crisis that requires urgent action to prevent disastrous droughts and fire seasons. Montana is one of the top states in the country for wind potential yet is 22nd in terms of wind development. We must continue to develop renewable energy, transition from fossil fuels, and immediately decrease emissions. I support clean energy incentives and eliminating tax subsidies for coal, oil, and gas. We should also promote practices that sequester carbon in the soil- there's incredible opportunity to boost agricultural yields through soil health while fighting climate change.
Montana women continue to face tough challenges achieving social and economic equality with men. American Indian women and other women of color in the state are particularly disadvantaged in their political, social, and economic status. Montana could invest far more in women to create stronger families and communities for us all. Policies and programs designed to diminish inequities should be priorities ensuring fair practices in the workplace, adequate healthcare, opportunities for leadership, and access to childcare.
State governments need to continue to support public schools ensuring that students can be safely educated and that all teachers have access to the resources they need. K-12 and post-secondary career and technical training opportunities need to be expanded, the dual credit system strengthened, and community colleges and universities must be supported. Montana is one of 6 states without a public pre-K program. Legislation needs to be drafted to allow local school districts to utilize the school funding formula allowing 4 year olds to be included in ANB counts. An investment now in our youngest learners will generate savings by preventing the need for more expensive interventions later in a child’s life.
The state of Montana must continue to protect Medicaid expansion and stop needless hurdles like the Montana Integrity fee, work requirement, and pre-existing conditions roadblocks. Everyone deserves affordable and accessible health care. I am very open to exploring a Medicare for all program at the state level.