Experience: My husband and I have lived in Florence for 34 years. My most current work experience has been on the House staff for the legislature. This past session I worked as the bills coordinator and so saw and heard each bill as it passed from committee through both houses to the Governor’s office. I have worked for 20 years in the grocery industry, both as a sales representative and an auditor.
1. For you personally, what does it mean to be a Republican?
1) As a Republican, I first believe in both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. I do not believe these are fluid documents but written by men and inspired with God’s wisdom. These documents declare our God-given rights and must be protected. The Constitution is as relevant today as when it was written. I believe our government must be limited and avoid infringing upon the lawful activities of its citizens. I have conservative beliefs and will strive to represent those whose beliefs are different than mine through listening and compromise.
2. The Montana GOP platform calls for studying the transfer of federal public lands to the state. Where do you stand on this issue?
2) At this point, I will look at the facts presented but I do not believe the state has the resources to take over the responsibility of these lands. I do, however, believe we need to have a collaborative management plan between the state and the feds for all public lands.
3. The last state budgeting session was difficult. An estimated $170 million in additional cuts to the budget resulted in people losing jobs in state government, with private contractors and in the medical field, as well as reduced services for many Montanans. Do you support the way that issue was addressed? If not, what do you think should have happened?
3) First of all, I do not believe it was necessary for the Governor to have called the special session. The cost of that was somewhere in the area of $225,000 not to mention the time people had to take away from their jobs, families, etc. And while the cost for the special session did not contribute to more cuts for services to the needy, cuts were made in other areas to cover it. The revenues have come in higher, just as the Republicans had said they would. Cuts did not have to be made. But the Governor chose to make those cuts and that, unfortunately, was where it hurt the most... our most vulnerable citizens. I do not agree with those cuts and my heart aches for those that it has hurt. With the additional revenue that has come in like the Republicans had predicted and with $34 million dollars that the Governor could use by extending the contract Core Civic has to operate the prison in Shelby, the cuts that have been made are unconscionable.