Family: Husband and son, 19
Education: Bachelor’s degree in journalism, University of Missouri, Columbia
Occupation: Writer – newspaper reporter, magazine freelancer, author
Background: Former foster mother and foster respite care; former board member with Literacy Volunteers of the Flathead; Flathead County Libertarian party chairwoman and Montana Libertarian Party secretary.
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. First, we should be more careful in the projection model we use to estimate revenues. Montana is not the only state increasingly overestimating revenues and thus crafting budgets that are not credible. We should remove restrictive professional licensing requirements to jump start the job market and legalize recreational cannabis so Montana doesn’t continuing losing revenue, taxes and tourists to our neighboring states. We need to prioritize taxpayers’ precious money by focusing on state services that are unreasonable to expect the private section, both for-profits and nonprofits to manage effectively.