Party: Democrat, incumbent
Family: Mom, Janine; sister, Heidi; brother-in-law, Drew; nieces, Ember and Alise
Education: 1996 Columbia Falls High School Graduate, 2001 University of Notre Dame Graduate, BA in Government and International Relations
Occupation: Clerk and delivery driver at O’Brien’s Liquor & Wine; substitute teacher at Columbia Falls High School
Background: I am a 40-year Montana resident and proud product of my community. I have served two terms in the Montana Legislature and would be honored to serve a third. I love our public lands and especially enjoy hiking, fishing, and hunting.
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. Our priorities need to be infrastructure, protecting our public lands, public education, quality job creation and health care. As a legislative body, what we choose to fund reflects our values. The cuts we made in 2017 were devastating to our most vulnerable, especially in the area of mental health. We have a lot of work to do to make those programs and services whole.
Q. Do you support a sales tax or other tax increases as a way to shore up the budget and increase revenue?
A. We need to look at how we can generate revenue from the millions of visitors we have to our state annually. I believe a sales tax is regressive and disproportionately burdens low-income families.
Q. Montana’s Medicaid expansion program is set to expire in 2019. Should the state renew this program?
A. The state should renew and improve this program in 2019.
Q. Which other issues would you like to see addressed by the Legislature?
A. We have the highest suicide rate in the nation. We have a responsibility and moral obligation to take this issue head on by looking at all the contributing factors from mental health to drug addiction. Prevention and education must be our focus.
Q. Why are you the right choice to represent your district?
A. I believe I am the best choice to represent House District 3 because I base my policy decisions on the input I receive from constituents, I have a track record of getting things done, and I am actively involved with and committed to my community.