The first year of my term as your Senator has now come to a close. A lot has happened in that year and I want to take a moment to recap it. The year started with Montana’s 66th Legislative session. During the session I sponsored legislation that protected our property rights, grew Montana manufacturing, and recognized both our military veteran and cowboy heritage. I also had the privilege to carry both the student consent bill and the bill that eliminated the criminal statute of limitations for child sexual abuse through the Senate. Great successes for our state.

On the other hand, rural Montana continued to take a back seat to the largest couple of cities. For example, tax dollars that were initially raised and meant to be spent in rural oil and gas counties got appropriated to other projects. A resort community got the tax help they wanted while rural broadband incentives and social security tax relief bills were vetoed. The divide between urban and rural Montana is growing and unfortunately will likely grow even further after the 2020 census.

As I started to prepare legislation to offset the urban/rural divide in the next legislative session I got a call from Dr. Al Olszewski. Dr. Olszewski understands the importance of our rural communities to our state and wanted to make that a priority in his campaign for governor.

He asked me to join his ticket as his Lieutenant Governor to bring an overdue voice of rural Montana to the governor’s office. It’s been exciting to have been on his ticket the last few months as he really does understand that rural communities and our values make Montana what it is.

It has been a productive first year but there is still a lot to do in Eastern Montana. I look forward to continuing to represent and strengthen rural Montana in the years to come. I want to thank you for your support the past year in our fight to protect our communities and values. If you have any ideas that will help strengthen them please reach out. Happy New Year and have a great 2020.

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