Gary Marbut

Gary Marbut

Should the Legislature approve a water compact with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes? What components of the deal must exist for you to support it?

Any such compact must protect the water rights of all rights-holders off the SK reservation, and of tribal and non-tribal rights-holders on the reservation. Such a compact may not even be permissible, since Montana is prohibited by the US Constitution and Montana’s Compact for Statehood from entering into compacts with other nations and since the CSKT is a sovereign nation.

University system funding: Should the state provide enough additional money for the U-system, to freeze tuition for two more years for Montana students. as the Legislature did in 2013? Why or why not?

I’d want to see detail about how the U-system spends the money it already receives from the Legislature before appropriating added funding. If there are non-essential U-system expenses, the U-system could also freeze tuition increases by reducing expenses but with no added legislative appropriation.

Should the state accept federal dollars to expand Medicaid to cover all Montanans up to 138 percentage of the federal poverty level? If so, what type of expansion do you support? If not, why – and how will this income group afford health insurance?

Montana should not sign onto, support, or associate with any aspect of Obamacare.

If Montana has a state budget surplus next year, what are your priorities for what should be done with that money? Would you return some of it to taxpayers or would you invest some in infrastructure projects?

If Montana has a budget surplus, that means it has overcharged the taxpayers. Any such overcharge should be refunded to taxpayers. If a person were overcharged at a store, the person would expect the store to refund the overcharge, not deliberate about what store function to spend the “extra” money on.

Do you support additional restrictions on abortion in Montana? Should the Legislature continue to approve federal money to family planning clinics, including Planned Parenthood?

Restrictions? I’d have to hear what “additional restrictions” are proposed, how “restrictions” are defined, and what informed others have to say about those. 71 percent of Montanans believe that parental consent should be required for a minor’s abortion. Some might call that a “restriction.” Federal funding? I am under the impression that Congress (in D.C.) approves federal funding, not the Legislature (in Helena).

There’s been talk about whether management of federal lands in Montana should be transferred to the state. Would you support the idea? Why or why not?

There are many indications that Montana may do a better job of managing lands held in trust for the public than the distant federal government in D.C. I want to know more about the actual on-the-ground effects and impacts of state management of lands managed in the public trust, but I think the idea is worth considering.

Do you support or oppose the legislative referendum on the November ballot that would end voter registration at 5 p.m. on the Friday before Election Day on Tuesday? Why or why not? People now may register, and vote, up until 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Support. Anyone seriously desiring to vote has many opportunities to get registered before election day. Also, the local Election Office officials are fully-occupied with the election on election day and don’t need the distraction of being required to register last-minute applicants.

Would you support or oppose a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Montana? Why or why not?

I’m unconvinced that marriage should be government business at all. Marriage first came to be a function of civil government in 1600s Europe to resolve conflict between the Catholic and Protestant churches. It seems as if what “same-sex marriage” is really about today is what workplace benefits government will mandate that public and private employers must provide for spouses. If people wish to be together and care about each other, nothing currently prevents that. I favor people being left alone to do whatever responsible thing they wish. I oppose using the power of government to mandate employment benefits for spouses.

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