Party: Republican, incumbent
Family: Wife, Amy; son Matt, 16 and daughters Rylee, 12 and Annah, 6
Education: Montana State University graduate with a construction engineering degree
Occupation: Owner of Glimm Homes, Custom Home Builders
Background: Currently serving a third term as state representative for House District 6; Appropriations Committee; Natural Resources Committee; Transportation Committee chairman; Water Policy Interim Committee; served on The Nurturing Center board; board of directors and past president for Flathead Building Association; board of directors and past president for Montana Building Industry Association; served with Smith Valley Fire Department; currently vice president and board member of Trinity Lutheran Church.
Q. A slate of budget cuts were made in 2017 to address a $227 million shortfall caused by less than anticipated revenue and an expensive fire season. What should the priorities be in the state budget in the next legislative session?
A. The governor’s budget cuts were made in anticipation of a budget crisis, which basically turns out not to be. Further, many of the cuts were made in areas of services that hurt those who need them most, the elderly and disabled. The priorities for the state budget this next session should be for the citizens of the state of Montana. I believe there are efficiencies that can be made and waste that can be eliminated. We should have a government that works for us as hard as you work to provide for your families.
Q. Do you support a sales tax or other tax increases as a way to shore up the budget and increase revenue?
A. I do not support new taxes. We need to look at ways to more efficiently conduct government.
Q. Montana’s Medicaid expansion program is set to expire in 2019. Should the state renew this program?
A. The question is who should look at renewing this program. I-185 is a ballot initiative that will make permanent the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. This is over and above what Medicaid was started and meant to be. I was against the expansion, as it doesn’t have work requirements or drug testing, even for single able-bodied adults. This is a complicated issue and should not be simplified. The proponents of I-185 would have you believe that the tobacco tax increase will cover the cost of expansion. This is not true. Montana’s taxpayers will be left to cover the $60 million shortfall. This issue should be addressed by the Legislature to explore more options and solutions. I urge you to vote “no” on I-185.
Q. Which other issues would you like to see addressed by the Legislature?
Zero-based budgeting, with the goal of eliminating waste and unnecessary spending. Typically, for state government we only look at what the agencies want new. We don’t look at everything from before. During last session, for the first time in recent memory, as the chairman of Natural Resources and Transportation, our committee zero-based a budget for an entire state agency. I want to take this process further and start zero-basing budgets in one agency in each subcommittee. That way, in a few sessions of the Legislature, the whole state budget will have been zero-base budgeted, which is far superior to only looking at the new spending each session.
Q. Why are you the right choice to represent your district?
A. I believe the voters of House District 6 will make the right choice for themselves. If they choose me, I will continue to stand for protection of your rights and freedoms, conservative values, and smaller government.