Diversity is our nation’s strength, but for far too long, too many of our fellow Montanans have been held back. We must do better to ensure that every Montanan is treated fairly. Every person has the right to expect equal treatment under the law and equality of opportunity in the workforce, education, and health care. These are the values that Steve will defend in the Senate.
Through advancements like achieving marriage equality, our country has made significant progress on equality for LGBTQ Americans. But there’s no question our work didn’t end there. We need to pass the Equality Act, which would outright prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. We must take action to make sure no Montanan is ever hurt just because of who they are or who they love.
Congress has a lot of work to do to uphold the U.S.’s trust and treaty responsibilities to tribal nations. Steve will take his experience working in partnership with Montana’s tribal nations to Washington to go to bat for Indian Country in the Senate. As Governor, Steve invested in tribal colleges, Native-owned businesses, and language preservation. He signed into law legislation to fight the epidemic of missing and murdered Indidgenous women, and increased access to healthcare for thousands of Native Montanans through Medicaid expansion. See more about Steve’s priorities for Indian Country here
As Montanans we are proud to have sent the first woman to Congress. To keep that heritage alive and thriving, we need to keep dismantling the barriers that stand in the way of women’s equality. We can do that by closing the pay gap, protecting access to health care, eliminating sexual harassment in the workplace, and preventing gender-based violence at home and on college campuses. Click here to see more about what we can do to make Washington work harder for Montana women.
Equality and justice for all are values that Americans hold dear, but we can only realize the promise of those values when we recognize the progress that still has to be made in fully achieving that goal. Confronting this problem head-on means taking on real criminal justice reform by addressing mandatory sentencing and mass incarceration. It means expanding economic opportunity by supporting entrepreneurs of color, tackling housing affordability by raising home ownership rates, and investing in a public education that prepares students of every background for success in higher education and the workplace. Discrimination has no place in America, and we can and must demand more of our leaders in Washington who have let this problem fester for far too long.
Every Montanan, regardless of ability, has strengths and talents to contribute to our state. Building communities that are inclusive of people with disabilities contributes to better schools, more vibrant public spaces, and a stronger economy. Protecting the health coverage secured through Medicaid expansion and fully funding education for students with disabilities are bedrocks of ensuring equal opportunity for Montanans of all abilities, along with investing in vocational rehabilitation, independent living, home and community based services, and respite services for family caregivers.
As Governor, Steve expanded sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination protections in state government hiring and contracting, and fought back against attempts to let businesses discriminate against people who are LGBTQ. During his tenure, Steve increased access to healthcare for Native people, invested in tribal colleges and apprenticeships, and supported Native entrepreneurs and business owners. He blocked every attack on Montana women’s right to make their own healthcare decisions, advanced pay equity, and reformed state laws protecting and supporting survivors of sexual assault. Steve signed into law the most sweeping criminal justice reform legislation in Montana history, improving outcomes for offenders and keeping communities safe. Under Steve’s leadership, Montana adopted the Community First Choice program to ensure that Montanans with disabilities get the support they need to live at home, and created tax-free savings accounts for families to cover the costs of caring for loved ones who have disabilities.