Sen. Tester attends Great Falls town hall

by Josh Meny – KTVQ

GREAT FALLS – Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) took questions from constituents in front of a crowd of hundreds of Montanans on Saturday in Great Falls.

The town hall was held on the campus of Great Falls College – MSU.

Nerissa Waters, who is concerned that her son with pre-existing conditions may lose his health coverage, commented on the importance of speaking face-to-face with elected officials.

“I have a right to speak to the people that represent me, because they work for me. It’s not the other way around. They don’t work for big money. They don’t work for corporations. They work for the constituents who voted them in place,” said Walters.

“And so it is absolute, absolute, that all senators and all congressmen, no matter if you sit in the house or the Senate are available to the constituents, not just by a phone call to a staffer, show up, take the hard questions,” she said.

The majority of questions pertained to the uncertain future of the Affordable Care Act.

Montana’s austerity budget was also a frequent issue brought up during the meeting.

Many residents expressed concern for budget cuts to health and human services programs and higher education.

Other topics ranged from pharmaceutical prices to the investigation into the Trump Administrations possible connections to Russia.

Senator Tester said that constituents should be engaging their civic leaders more now than ever.

“I think this was really important because we got to talk about a broad base of issues. Sure, it was focused on the Affordable Care Act but we talked about a lot of other issues today,” Tester said.

“And, once again, I think it’s important that people’s voices are heard and we take those voices back to Washington D.C. and act accordingly,” he said.