Political party: green party
Occupation: Consultant, author
Family: Married, father, grandfather, great-grandfather
Education: Local, U of M two years, lifetime
Past employment: Structural Firefighter and Advanced Paramedic
Military: US Army, 1966-1969, honorable discharge
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Political experience: 40 years+
Did not answer questions.
[email protected] | 406-544-7189
Political party: Democrat
Date of birth and age: 1971, I’m 51
Occupation: Terroir manager and botanic trainer at UM
Family: Mari David and our many pets
Education: BS UC Davis 1994, MS Biology UM 1997
Past employment: UM 25 years old, private consulting, Military: None
Political experience: 12 years on Missoula City Council, 2 previous terms at Montana House.
Amendments: MT Conservation Voters, MT Sportsmans’ Alliance, Montana Federation of Public Employees, MT AFL-CIO, MT SMART, MT Rural Voters, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana
1) The Montana Legislature will likely decide what to do with a revenue surplus of over $1 billion. Tell us what you think should be done.
We should invest it in Montana’s top 4 issues: Labor Housing ($500 million): Increase supply for regular renters and homeowners via low-cost construction loans interest or interest-free; invest in the Montana Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Property tax relief ($250 million); one-time relief combined with ongoing relief based on income level. Last session, the majority of the GOP gave tax cuts to the wealthy, which didn’t help most people. Affordable child care services ($125 million). Establish more suppliers; invest in salary increases to attract/retain educators; develop scholarships. Mental health care ($125 million). Expand emergency beds across Montana; expand access to inpatient and outpatient care; increase Medicaid provider rates; Restore 2017 cuts to community mental health infrastructure.
This approach will improve lives and boost our economy.
2) Should access to abortion remain a right in Montana? Would you allow abortion drugs to be mailed to addresses in Montana?
Yes, abortion should remain legal in Montana, and everyone should have the right to make private medical decisions with their healthcare providers, family, and according to their own religious beliefs. Yes, I would vote to allow abortion drugs to be sent to addresses in Montana. We live in a large state and not everyone is able to travel for health care. If certain medications are deemed appropriate for telehealth and mail, I support health care providers and support confidentiality of medical decisions.
3) Public schools in Montana, especially schools in rural areas, are experiencing a shortage of teachers. What should the state’s response be? Is there a way to staff these public schools?
We should increase teachers’ salaries and ensure that teachers can find and pay for accommodation. If that means investing in housing for teachers in rural areas, then we should. Each community may have slightly different challenges and we should allow local school districts to help identify solutions. Raising wages would be a good first step.
4) Montana’s public psychiatric hospital is over budget by $17 million and 45% of its positions are vacant. Four patients died in hospital between October 2021 and February 2022, after which a female patient was seriously injured following an assault by a male patient. The federal government will no longer pay for hospital services. How does the legislature stabilize this hospital and state mental health programs?
In the short term, we should invest in appropriate staffing levels and reasonable salaries to attract and retain qualified Montana personnel. We can also invest in finding appropriate community placements for Montana patients, but these are not yet widely available. Increasing Medicaid payments to service providers will be necessary in both cases. In the long term, we need to work with health care providers and other employees in Warm Springs and across the state to develop a community network of mental health care facilities (see Question 1). This is a complex problem that has been developing for some time but has reached a crisis level in the past two years. I understand that some of the patients in Warm Springs would be better served when it comes to dementia care, but unfortunately our senior care system is failing in Montana as well. We need to be serious about adequately funding social services, and my constituents have made it clear that they value elder care and mental health care.
5) Name a problem of your choice and tell us what you are going to do about it.
I am committed to preserving wildlife as a public resource and to ensuring that hunting (an important conservation tool) is not limited by class, wealth, or land ownership. I will work to support programs like Block Management and Habitat Montana that provide funding and other support to private landowners working for conservation. I will oppose any effort to privatize wildlife or erode our traditions of public-private cooperation.