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State House District 12

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  • Candidate picture

    Gerry Browning

  • Linda Reksten

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) 883-5514
Montana is a wonderful state in which to live and raise a family. However, there are many families that do not have adequate health care. I think this became very clear during the corona virus pandemic. Most people would not have been able to afford testing and treatment, especially if they required long term care in a hospital or intensive care on a ventilator. Without government assistance with free testing and money for the hospitals, these people would be out of luck. We need to move forward to a health care system that will cover all Americans with basic health care.
I don't believe that Montana is a major player in causing climate change but we do see it's effects. Our Glaciers are receding, warmer temperatures are causing earlier and quicker snow melt causing flooding and more frequent and devastating wild fires are polluting our air and sending people running indoors. We may not specifically cause these problems but we can do our part to lessen the effects of climate change. We cannot back down on emissions standards for coal plants and must work towards using cleaner energy. Working with the private sector to increase charging stations for electric cars and provide a tax incentive for people to buy electric cars is an example. We must do our part to build a better future for our children.
Education has to be the most important tool to help women improve their lives. I have been and continue to be involved in women's organizations that focus on helping women with their educational needs. Not just high school graduates off to college but also adult women returning to the workforce after years of being a stay at home mom. Women, often single moms, leave the workforce to raise their children. They have no paid family leave and childcare has become very expensive. We need to address these issues so that women can return to the work force. Most importantly, we need to teach little girls that they are valuable. Self worth, self esteem and self assurance are values that must be reinforced to help them reach their goals in life.
Our State Constitution, Article X states "equality of education opportunity is guaranteed to each person of the state". We do have a funding formula to insure this promise. The formula is there and appears to have worked these past 13 years. The concern becomes where do we get the funds to finance this constitutional right? Education is the 2nd largest part of our State budget. We must continue to review the costs of education and it's funding. A difficult task at best, but education and economic growth go hand in hand and we must work together to see that the job gets done.
Montana legislature did approve Medicaid expansion. We must continue to support our citizens that struggle to provide for their families by continuing these entitlement programs: Head Start, Healthy Montana Kids, WIC, Snap, Medicaid, to name a few. But we must also look at these programs as a way to help people get back to being productive members of the work force. They were never meant to be a generational way of living. I do believe that we need to move toward a health care system that involves the government and private health care insurance plans. Then we must work at providing funding for education in the trades so that our citizens can become productive members of our society and break this generational cycle of welfare
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