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State House District 84

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    Mary Ann Dunwell

  • Charlie Hull

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) 461-5358
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The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging our state in ways we never could have expected. Montanans face sickness, death and disrupted lives and livelihoods. We also face the added challenge of institutional racism and our laws and policies need review. The role of state government is so important to mitigate uncertainty and move our state to and through health and economic health recovery, and social, economic and environmental justice. In my three terms as state representative, I’ve strongly supported public programs. In my fourth, I will work hard to step up that support for public health, mental health, equity, living wages, jobs, public education, environmental protections, and fair and equitable taxation.
Our climate crisis poses an existential threat to our world and state. It threatens public health, environment, economy, and national security. I will work to mitigate the crisis by re-introducing a bill for carbon cost and community dividends to levy a fee on the big industrial polluters and transfer that revenue to energy transition communities for sustainable economic development, jobs, livelihoods, and energy. I will discourage fossil fuel development, especially hydraulic fracking that threatens groundwater and agricultural land use. I will encourage net metering policies, encourage Montana’s monopoly utility to invest in renewable energy, energy efficiencies to reduce consumption, reuse and recycle.
The current coronavirus magnifies deep inequalities that exist. Many workers deemed essential are our lowest paid with no paid sick leave, health care, or other protections. Many, if not most, of these workers are women. The problem is worse in indigenous populations. Women in Montana are paid pennies on a dollar that a man makes. I have supported and will continue to support equal pay for equal work, paid sick and family leave. For the last three sessions, I’ve sponsored and championed living wage legislation, and will again introduce and fight for a living wage for every worker. In addition, we must pass much stronger policies to prevent and stop abuses against all women, minorities, and non-gender conforming individuals.
Montana is among just a few states still without universal pre-K. I have worked and will continue to support public pre-K. No child old enough to attend preschool will be deprived of equitable public pre-K. In addition, we need to pass legislation to allow students with IEPs to pursue their high school diploma past the age of 18. During my last three sessions, I’ve sponsored a number of youth mental health and suicide prevention bills. We need to increase resources and policies that protect the emotional wellbeing of students. This includes developing and implementing social/emotional learning standards.
I was honored to be among the legislators in the 2015 legislative session to pass Medicaid expansion and then extend it in 2019 that provided health care to 100,000 Montanans. In fact, Medicaid expansion was why I decided to run for the legislature for the first time back in 2013. While Medicaid expansion helped the health and prosperity of Montanans, it’s really just the beginning of a big health care fix that we sorely need. Pharmaceutical prices must come down, community mental health services must increase, surprise medical bills must stop, and fee for service must become outcome based. As a country and a people, I encourage us to drop our pursuit of health care for profit. Replace profit with public good, a human right.
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