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Let’s focus

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Montanans have spoken. It is clear that one thing our often-polarized voters value and agree on is our right to privacy. We have overwhelmingly decided that our government can’t mess around in our electronic communications without a warrant - that is, a reason a judge finds valid. We’ve also decided that when families face the trauma of miscarriage or the birth of a severely deformed child, they get to be alone with loved ones and compassionate medical providers; there is no need for cops or politicians in the delivery room.

As we prepare for the next legislative session, I hope that our leaders will shift their focus from non-problems and address the real ones. If ever there was a non-problem, voter fraud has been found repeatedly to be one. Ill- conceived and unconstitutional “solutions” cost our state time, money and credibility that should be directed to real concerns. I have some suggestions, and I’ll bet you do, too.

We have a state mental hospital that is poorly managed and understaffed. We are in the midst of a global inflation we haven’t seen since the ‘70s, most severely affecting our working poor. We also have a state surplus. We could better fund and manage Warm Springs and help the poorest Montanans feed their children. Yet some of our leaders want this surplus returned to all taxpayers, including our billionaires. I suggest we focus on those in need with no “election bonuses” to the rich and powerful.

Thankfully, Governor Gianforte commissioned a work group to address one of our very real problems – affordable housing. It came up with plenty of ideas and its likely some are workable. In any event, it is a start at Montana government behaving like a rational institution. We need more of this proactive leadership.

Let’s encourage our elected officials to focus on the real issues in Montana.

Suzanne Parson

St. Ignatius

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