In Great Falls, Tester Hosts 4th Public, in-Person Town Hall of the Year

Senator meets face-to-face with constituents, takes questions and solicits feedback from group of nearly 100 people

U.S. Senator Jon Tester spent an hour fielding questions and soliciting feedback from a crowd of nearly 100 at an in-person town hall event today in Great Falls.

“These town halls are a great way for me to connect with my bosses, the people of Montana,” Tester told the crowd. “They give me a chance to hear your ideas, concerns, and feedback on the policies that affect your daily lives. That’s what makes our state one of a kind: it’s a place where all of you should have face-to-face contact with your representatives so you can hold us accountable.”

Tester heard directly from constituents on issues including the VA Mission Act, his Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act, college affordability, the appointment of William Pendley to lead the Bureau of Land Management, health care, education, and campaign finance reform.

Tester kicked off his town hall by discussing his recent legislative efforts. He applauded the Trump Administration’s recent decision to permanently adopt his legislation, the Rural Residencies Act, helping to bring more doctors to Montana’s 48 Critical Access Hospitals which serve the state’s rural communities. He also stressed the need to reauthorize funding for the state’s Community Health Centers, which is set to expire next month.

Responding to a question about how to get more doctors to practice in Montana’s rural areas, Tester said: “How you get doctors here is through residencies. I had a bill to increase rural residencies; these are folks who come to Montana and do their residencies in Fort Benton and Conrad and places like that. If a doctor does a residency here, they are a lot more likely to stay here—and if we give them a taste of rural and frontier areas they’re going to want to stay. The Trump Administration adopted this by rule, so now we’re going to see more rural rotations of doctors that are doing their residencies in the state. It’s not a silver bullet, but it’ll help.”

This is Tester’s fourth in-person town hall this year—following events in Bozeman, Missoula, and Helena—and his eleventh since President Trump took office. He has held dozens of in-person public forums since 2016 on topics ranging from health care reform to Farm Bill reauthorization, VA community care, the ongoing trade war, and local infrastructure priorities across Montana.