Tester Addresses State Legislature

Urges Local Lawmakers to ‘Make Montana Proud'

(Helena, Mont.) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester addressed the Montana State Legislature today, urging lawmakers to protect critical initiatives like Medicaid while investing in teachers, veterans, and firefighters.

“You’ve got about 78 days to get things done,” Tester said. “I would ask you only one thing- make Montana proud.”

A former President of the Montana State Senate, Tester kicked off his address with advice on how to approach the health care debate and warned legislators about the risks rolling back Medicaid could pose to rural communities that rely on small local hospitals to survive.

“Don’t make it a political issue. Make it an issue about people,” Tester said. “Ask yourself what’s going to happen to those people that get their health care taken away.”

He then raised the issue of education, advocating for strong investments in students, teachers, and classrooms.

“Education is the foundation of our democracy,” Tester said. “And it is critically important as we move our state forward in this 21st century economy.”

Tester also touched on mental health care, an issue that’s critically important to Montana’s veterans, farmers, and native communities.

“We are number one in the country when it comes to suicide and that’s for a number of reasons,” Tester said. “But the bottom line is that if we don’t do something proactively to help reduce this plague it will not get better.”

Watch Tester’s speech HERE.