Tester notes benefits of living rural Montana

Sidney Herald

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., explained why Montana is a great place for young adults during his monthly conference call with reporters Wednesday.

“Millennials are driven by quality of life,” Tester said. “There’s no better place to have a quality life than rural Montana and rural America. We have to make sure they know that.”

The senator noted that to attract more residents the state needs to create jobs, have access to health care, improve broadband and have a farm bill that encourages people to come back to the land.

“The bigger is better idea isn’t helpful from a rural prospective,” Tester said.

Tester added that having a strong rural economic development organization and a highway bill that addresses the needs of rural states are also very important.

“The biggest thing is to get the information out there so they know the opportunities,” Tester said. “There’s a lot that Montana has to offer.”

As far as the local economy, Tester is hopeful that the oil industry bounces back fairly soon.

“It’s like any commodity that has ebbs and flows,” Tester said. “I don’t know when, but I assure you that the price is going back.”

The senator added, “It’s kind of like the price of wheat. It’s down right now, it will come back up but we don’t know when.”

Tester is disappointed the Senate is taking a seven-week recess. He said the Senate is spending the least amount in session than it has for 60 years.

“It’s not because of a lack of solutions, but because of some people who don’t want to roll up their sleeves and get things done,” Tester said.

He’s upset that no progress is being made in confirming a new justice for the Supreme Court.

“Eighth-graders know the Supreme Court needs nine justices, but the Senate doesn’t seem to know that,” Tester said. “Washington is broken, that’s pretty obvious.”