During the last decade, the radical right has called for privatizing public lands. I have worked hard, as have others, including many republicans, to defeat these proposals. It will always be my highest
priority to keep public lands in public hands. Beyond selling public lands, there is no single “largest issue”. Managing federal and state lands requires balancing different interests to ensure the best stewardship over the long term. Groups like the Blackfoot Challenge have rejected winner take all solutions like litigation and are building durable partnerships around land and water management. The Montana Legislature should be encouraging similar positive approaches.
The Legislature must ensure quality health care is available to all. That means every individual has the right to make private, personal decisions about health issues including reproductive choice. This right is enshrined in our State Constitution and I will protect it.
On the conservation an energy fronts, I’m very interested in net metering and finding ways to reward Montanans who invest in renewable energy.
Finding affordable housing has become a challenge as prices have soared and wages for many have remained stagnant. A good start was made in 2019, when the Legislature passed a low interest loan program. In addition to expanding this program I also support providing a housing tax credit for developers that build affordable housing. Projections show that over the next 10 years, tax credits could leverage enough private capital to build 18,000 affordable homes, providing jobs in the process. I place a high value on the opportunity for home ownership and we need strong programs to accomplish this goal.
Research continues to show that clean air and clean water protect both environmental and human health. Access to public lands for recreation, hunting and fishing are essential to our quality of life. The Legislature needs to be in the forefront of protecting our environmental laws.
Paid Family Leave
I strongly believe we need paid family leave legislation and am studying how other states have responded to this issue.