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Andre Floyd Get Out The Vote Concert
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1. Why are you running for office and what talents do you bring to the job?
I’m running for office because I want to help. Being an American means having freedoms and it also means being responsible for participating in our democracy however we are capable. It is my civic duty to step forward and say: here’s what I can do.
During my career as a Postmaster, I also served as Editor for the National Association of Postmasters, which meant I got to help both Members of Congress and my fellow Postmasters understand the role that the Postal Service plays in keeping our country working together toward a common goal. I learned how it is that a government agency can act like a business, while also respecting the constitutional mandate to treat all citizens equally.
I can bring this non-partisan understanding of civics to our citizen legislature. In my first term as Representative I passed a law to give schools options for funding improvements, and I passed a law to help get city and county roads and other job-creating infrastructure built. I’m running for office to build on these successes with more bi-partisan solutions that matter to the people of Great Falls.
2. What issues will be your priorities as an elected official?
My priorities for this session are to continue providing constituent services: interfacing between government agencies and constituents is the best part of my job. It is fulfilling, and helps me to understand where we can remove barriers to equity and access to services for our neighbors. I will introduce the Veterans Bill of Rights to help veterans transition back to life in Montana through better access to healthcare, job services, mental health service and housing. I will also introduce a bill to help Montana consumers and small business owners access money-saving energy technologies.
Serving on the Judiciary and Law and Justice Interim Committees has given me special knowledge of the challenges and opportunities we have to be smart on crime. I am focusing on a number of policies to advance justice through investment in community-based, proven programs that disrupt high-risk behavior and include relapse prevention.
3. What impact do you see the COVID-19 outbreak having on the state budget and services and how would you deal with that?
Montana’s economy is projected by the Bureau of Economic Research to be in a recession “more severe than anything in the postwar period” which will last for years. Even so Montana’s finances going into this time of uncertainty are strong. General Fund expenditures have been less than budgeted and the Legislative Fiscal Division projects that our reserves will get us through the next few years, so we have time to plan for the shortfall expected in 2023.
We depend on individual and corporate income tax for nearly half of our state budget, so when the shortfall arrives, our community needs to be ready to rebound . We should take advantage of opportunities to limit paperwork and streamline enrollment for aid, expand eligibility for home and community based services, and protect access to high quality child care as we invest federal COVID funding. A healthy, secure population is the most important driver for a thriving economy.
4. Are you someone who believes in bipartisanship, a staunch defender of your party’s beliefs or does your approach depend on the issue? Describe your approach on getting bills passed.
I came to the state legislature from being an activist for non-partisan issues. I advocated for all my postal customers and I worked with the Friends Committee on National Legislation, which is a non-partisan, faith based lobbying group which focuses on peace and human dignity.
That experience leads me to find shared values with people even when we don’t agree on everything. I am someone who prefers to focus on solutions rather than on problems.
5. What challenges do you see specifically for the Great Falls area and what can you do, if anything, to help as a state lawmaker?
State tax policy has made Cascade county overly dependent on property taxes. I support several bills that would strengthen local governments’ ability to raise revenue and improve the fairness of our tax system. One bill would allow local governments to keep up with inflation when making their budgets, and the other would give a tax credit to families whose property taxes exceed a percentage of their income. This will allow lower and middle income families stay in their homes and invest in their futures.
Another local issue is that demand for affordable housing is outstripping the supply. We need to develop tools like flexible financing that allow developers to layer all the various public and private programs together to make projects viable. A state housing tax credit could employ construction workers immediately, while providing the stable housing that will be key to our economic recovery.
Vaccination prevents flu and severe outcomes of flu. It also means preventing symptoms that can mimic COVID-19, saving health care resources needed for COVID-19 care.
Building the Movement: America’s Youth Celebrate 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage, is an exhibit honoring the centennial anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment which gave American women the right to vote. The exhibit will launch this August (2020) and will showcase artwork by young Americans depicting this historic milestone. To create this exhibit, the First Lady is asking students in grades 3-12 from across the United States and its territories for submissions depicting individuals, objects, and events representing the women’s suffrage movement. One submitted artwork will be chosen from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, America Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The artwork will appear alongside images of women’s suffrage parades, marches, and gatherings that took place at or around the White House. The deadline for submission is July 6. All applicants will receive a thank you note signed by the First Lady, thanking them for their participation in this special exhibit honoring the women's suffrage movement.
Join us for an interview in the Quaker Changemaker series by the Friends Committee on National Legislation. June 24th, 4:30 pm. Montana time.
Mark your calendars for Thursday, June 18 at noon for Lunch With a Legislator.
Great Falls Legislators and other governmental officials will be there to answer questions, provide information, and discuss current affairs.
This month we’ll be focusing on child care solutions for people heading back to work, with a special guest from Family Connections Montana. It will be an opportunity for all of us to learn how to support workers’ families and small businesses who want to safely re-open with help from CAREs Act funds.
Feel free to ask questions of your legislators before or during the meeting.
Post questions here or at https://www.facebook.com/JasmineKrotkov4MT
Under Phase Two, effective June 1, avoid gatherings in groups of more than 50 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing. Groups larger than 50 people should be cancelled unless physical distancing can be maintained. It is recommended to continue to social distance in gatherings of any size.
Under Phase Two, effective June 1, restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries and casinos remains in the same operations status as Phase One, but with an increase to 75% capacity. Gyms, indoor group fitness classes, pool, and hot tubs can operate at 75% capacity and only if they can adhere to strict physical distancing and they exercise frequent sanitation protocols. Concert halls, bowling alleys, and other places of assembly may operate with reduced capacity and if they adhere to strict physical distancing guidelines.
All businesses are required to follow the social distancing and sanitation guidelines established in Phase One, and Montanans are strongly encouraged to continue sanitation practices, including hand washing and wearing masks in public places like grocery stores.
Mark your calendars for Thursday, May 21 at noon for Lunch With a Legislator.
Great Falls Legislators and other governmental officials will be there to answer questions, provide information, and discuss current affairs. This month we’ll be focusing on (what else?) COVID-19, with a special guest from the Governor’s Office. We’ll be paying particular attention to how to navigate getting back to work during our phased re-starting of the economy. Feel free to ask questions of your legislators before or during the meeting. The meeting will be streamed live to facebook.com/JasmineKrotkov4MT
Please be sure to respond to the Census! You don't need to wait for the paper copy to be left on your door... just go to this website: Census2020