Missoula County House District 94

October 13, 2022

Montana Lending

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Thomas France

[email protected]

Political party: Democrat

Date of birth and age: June 15, 1951, age, 71

House: 5900 Thornbird Lane, Missoula, Montana 59808

Occupation: Natural Resources Consultant, State Legislator

Family: My wife is Meg Haenn and we have three adult children, Luke, Sonja and Toni

Education: BA History, University of Montana, JD, Alexander Blewett School of Law, University of Montana

Past employment: Regional Executive Director, National Wildlife Federation

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Political experience: I’m running for my second term in the Montana Legislative Assembly

Amendments: Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana, Montana Rural Voters, Montana Conservation Voters, Missoula Fire Fighters Local 271, Montana Federation of Public Employees, Montana Sportsmen’s Alliance, Montana AFL-CIO, SMART-Transportation Division (formerly United Transportation Union), Montanans for Choice

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.

Montana Democrats have advanced a plan to spend the budget surplus that includes significant property tax relief, support for affordable housing programs and investments in child care and mental health services. Some Republican leaders have also acknowledged the need to address property tax relief, the Warm Spring Hospital crisis, and low salaries for state employees and teachers. I will work to advance a bipartisan plan that makes wise investments in the areas most in need and provides property tax relief for Montanese.

2) Should access to abortion remain a right in Montana? Would you allow abortion drugs to be mailed to addresses in Montana?

Under the Montana Constitution, women have the constitutionally protected right to make private medical decisions without interference from the state government, including the right to an abortion or other health decisions. procreation. I strongly support this right as the foundation of personal freedom and will oppose any legislation banning abortion or overthrowing our state constitution. Montana does not have, and should not have, the right to interfere with drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration and shipped by US mail.

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?

The shortages of educators in this state, in our cities, towns and rural areas, can be reversed — and it’s not just about low salaries. Our colleges and universities are producing enough educators to staff our schools, but beginning teachers are leaving Montana for better salaries, better support services, and better access to affordable housing and insurance. The Legislature must increase support for local school districts to increase teacher salaries, especially for beginning teachers, and strengthen affordable housing programs for teachers as well as other workers entering the workforce.

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?

The short-term solution, as repeatedly proposed by Democratic lawmakers, is to use some of Montana’s current $1.6 billion surplus to stabilize the workforce by paying competitive wages. The Gianforte administration has not responded to or acted on this proposal, nor has it taken steps to obtain federal recertification and stands to lose millions of additional federal dollars. In the long term, some patients in public psychiatric hospitals would be better served by community placements and we must work towards this goal.

5) Name a problem of your choice and tell us what you are going to do about it.

Housing and property taxes are the biggest issues, and Democrats will seek to encourage affordable housing and provide property tax relief. I am increasingly concerned about attacks on wildlife management and public access. The Gianforte administration diverted hunting license revenue to the Department of Corrections, implemented an unnecessary and costly pheasant restocking program, transferred hunting licenses to private entities, and undermined Habitat Montana and other programs. of access and habitat. I will introduce legislation to end pheasant stocking and use this funding to expand and strengthen our public access and wildlife habitat programs.







Rebecca Mapton

Rebecca Mapton

[email protected] | 406.426.9474

Political party: Republican

Occupation: Mortgage

Family: Married with 4 children

Education: Degrees in business administration/accounting; Certified in Sports Broadcasting and Sports Media and Communication. Licensed loan officer in MT and WA.

Past employment: Mortgage 20+ years

Political experience: First time candidate

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.

The Montana Legislature will decide what to do with the surplus, and I support working with my colleagues to do what is best for my state and my constituents. Montana faces many problems. The Legislative Assembly must tackle serious mental health issues, affordable housing and ever-rising taxes.

2) Should access to abortion remain a right in Montana? Would you allow abortion drugs to be mailed to addresses in Montana?

The Armstrong decision made abortion a privacy issue in Montana.

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?

The Montana Legislature passed the TEACH Act in 2021 to help incentivize teacher salaries. We have to deal with the cost of housing and the shortage to keep good teachers in our state.

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?

The status of mental health and mental health institutions will be one of the most important issues we will deal with during the next legislature. We need to build stronger accountability models. We also need to hire more competent and effective managers and mental health professionals.

5) Name a problem of your choice and tell us what you are going to do about it.

I have spoken to many constituents over the past few months in my district, House District 94. My constituents tell me that their main concern is increased property taxes and affordable housing. As a representative, I pledge to work diligently to address these concerns and find solutions.

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