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State House District 93

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    Lisa M. Pavlock

  • Joe Read

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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The first and most important challenge is our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Montana reacted boldly in the beginning to ensure the health and safety of our citizens. We will need to continue to be the leaders who can make tough decisions while ensuring Montanans are safe. At the same time, we must continue to create the economic impetus to get our economy growing again. Health care continues to be an issue that needs to be creatively addressed to support Montanans. Given that many are experiencing such a huge financial hit because of COVID-19, Montana may experience a revenue shortfall. A top priority will be to reprioritize our state budget to ensure funds are expended in the most prudent ways to help Montana stay on course.
The ideals set forth in the Montana Climate Solutions Plan should provide the framework for our state. The Plan will address ways in which our state can take the challenges head on. The most important pillar of any work will be expanding and supporting renewable energy. Next, we must support workers as they transition from employment in fossil fuels into other equitable employment options, so that they are not left out of this growth. Additionally, we must invest in research for energy options, looking especially at supporting our state universities as drivers in this push for expanded opportunities.
Because 2020 is the centennial of the 19th Amendment, this is especially the year to celebrate and support the beginnings of women’s access to full equality - though Women of Color were not fully enfranchised until later. Women need to know they have full access to quality, affordable healthcare. When women’s health is a priority, they can plan for a family or make better career decisions. Women need to know that they have the right to make the right choice for their own body. Also, addressing wage disparity to ensure women are earning a fair wage must be a priority. We need to do more to connect all areas of law enforcement to ensure women are safe from violence, and address the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
The state government must ensure schools are sufficiently funded to achieve the curriculum established through community and state guidelines. A qualified and motivated staff of educators can then execute the guidelines established by the state and local school districts in creative ways that really nurture and support each child.
Our communities have suffered enormous hardships during this health crisis. We will need to continue to be the leaders who can make tough decisions to ensure the safety of Montanans. In the last session, the Montana Legislature voted to renew Medicaid expansion without a sunset clause, but did not vote to maintain funding into the future. Moving forward, the next legislature should be prepared to face this challenge and maintain our commitment to this important program. The next legislature will also need to work with insurance companies to bring down premiums, and work to cap the prices of prescription drugs.
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