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ELECTION 2018: House District 14

 

October 11, 2018

Denley Loge

NAME: Denley M. Loge

EDUCATION: BA Geography

FAMILY: Single

OCCUPATION: Rancher

1. Do you think the Second Amendment should be repealed? If not, do you think there should be any new gun restrictions?

Short answer-NO. I don't feel we need new gun restrictions however, I feel any unsafe or irresponsible use of a fire arm should have punishments that fit the crime. I feel hunters safety, or any kind of gun safety classes should be encouraged and the shooting sports for youth is one of the better programs to help promote gun safety.

2. What would you do to improve the state's health care system?

We do need to restore some of the needed social programs to the small rural communities. After the special session, there was 32 million dollars available to use toward state programs that the governor chose not to take at the time. This led to closing offices. He has since chosen to use some of those funds and also talked of returning some of those services. We still have a problem of funding services. In hopes of revenues being up, that will help but we all know simply putting money toward a problem does not always solve it. We must still improve efficiency in spending and sometimes that even means putting new management in place. Health care for all is an easy promise to make but the reality is that takes money, money we don't have. Our top priority now is to provide needed services to the most vulnerable and those that truly need them, and continue to clean up on the waste and fraudulent use of any of those funds.

3. If elected, what piece of legislation would be your priority?

I don't see any one bill. As things develop, they are all important. I am in hopes I can deal with a bill re-authorizing Medicaid Expansion. I-185 leaves some concerns and unaddressed problems that the legislature can and needs to deal with rather than having to accept the initiative as written basically by the lobby groups. Other small bills that will need to surface are restructuring the way fishing access sites are paid for. At present, fisherman pay and rafters don't. I would like to see some help from those rafters, without penalizing the family Sunday afternoon outing. This also relates to the pay for boat and raft inspections for the Zebra Mussel and other invasive species. We need to come up some ways to fund these services to protect our waterways for industry, power, and fishing for the future. We have another small user fee that has not be addressed. We are seeing more and more bike paths beside highways and through towns. These can be quite expensive to build, but even more expensive in the long run to maintain. It cannot be argued that these do add to safe travel, but the users contribution is very small. Some argue they pay for this in their gas tax and vehicle tax but by that argument, they should be able to pull their trailer for free.

These are just a few issues to look at but it all comes down to providing services for the citizens of the state and how to pay for them. Everyone wants a service, but all too often it is let's let someone else foot the bill, if they will. My priority bills to support will be safety, support of jobs, reasonable and responsible regulations to protect air and water, prescription and nonprescription drug abuse and dependency, saving our small rural medical facilities, and prudent tax dollar spending (efficiency and effectiveness in agencies).

4. If you are elected and look ahead to the end of your term, what one significant change will you initiate?

I would like to feel the taxpayers got a fair shake. I would hope transparency in all that happened in Helena showed the taxpayers that there was cooperation and open communication among all their elected officials. We all have different interests and constituents, so people will seldom get exactly what they want but the idea of working together can yield big results. Polarization is becoming more and more prevalent in our society and I would hope that at the end of the session, a feeling of cooperation and accomplishment could be the significant change.

NAME:  Diane L. Magone

EDUCATION: BSW, University of Montana; MSW Walla Walla College

FAMILY:  I live with my 94-year-old father, have two daughters, two sons-in-law and four grandchildren

OCCUPATION: Retired

1. Do you think the Second Amendment should be repealed? If not, do you think there should be any new gun restrictions?

While this idea was suggested earlier this year by one of our Supreme Court Justices, John Paul Stevens, I was not aware of his suggestion until I read this question, so I had not really given it any thought until now. From what I understand, in order to appeal an amendment, you would have to go through the same process as that of ratifying a new amendment, which means it would go first through Congress and then would have to be ratified by two-thirds of the states. The other possible avenue would be for the states to call an Article V Convention to address the appeal process, neither of which I could see happening at this point or even in the near future. As far as new gun restrictions, I think that the most important issue facing us today is the matter of school and public safety. Montana law gives the local school districts the power to address school safety issues and I think that each district should explore with their community members what would work best in protecting our kids for their own district. As far as new gun restrictions, as a legislator I would have to see any introduced law before I could make any decision and then I would hope to be responsive to my constituents in addressing it. I would also like to add that I come from a family of hunters, and, although I have never hunted, as a personal choice, I do own a gun and appreciate our shared history of hunting as a part of the Montana way of life and as one way, of many, to utilize our public lands.

2. What would you do to improve the state's health care system?

I think that we can all agree that the health care system in this country is a huge mess – from high costs of care and medications, to not enough primary care doctors, to not being even able to get an appointment with your doctor in the first place and then having to wait months for certain procedures – and then to wait and see if your insurance will even cover it - these are all problems with our current system. What we cannot do is to agree on how to fix it. But there are some areas that our legislature could focus on to improve how services are delivered.

As a senior citizen, one practice that I would like to see addressed with legislation on a state level concerns Medicare Advantage plans. Blue Cross/Blue Shield served both Mineral and Sanders County for two consecutive years and then pulled out, leaving their clients scrambling to try and come up with another plan. And this also happened three years ago when New West left the area. This behavior not only forces seniors to find new plans but also, in many cases, to find new doctors. This is a practice that should not continue, and insurance companies should be restricted from "cherry picking" their clients whenever they feel that a particular market is not profitable enough.

Legislation could also be introduced to encourage the development and expansion of school and work-based clinics. Having medical services on-site has proved to be cost-effective by both providing early treatment and in cutting down hours in time loss for both the private and public sectors. State employees have access to work-based clinics in Montana and this option has proved to be extremely successful as not only a way to save the state money but also as a way to keep people healthy and at work.

3. If elected, what piece of legislation would be your priority?

By far, the continuation of Medicaid Expansion is my priority. As most of you know, I-185, the Healthy Montana Initiative, will be on the ballot this fall. This initiative directs the state to provide funding to continue Medicaid in our state by taxing cigarettes and other smoking products – as it stands now, Medicaid Expansion is set to sunset in June of next year and the Montana Hospital Association and others have introduced this initiative as a way to keep Medicaid funded past that date. Not only does the Federal Medicaid program insure nearly 100,000 of our fellow Montanans but it also provides new jobs in our state as the rolls increase and actually saves our state money since a bigger percentage of the money comes from the federal government to fund the program than does that for traditional Medicaid. On a local level, continuing Medicaid Expansion helps to keep the doors of our local, rural critical access hospitals open, thus contributing to our local economies. Mineral Community Hospital is the second largest employer in Mineral County, with 65 FTEs and the biggest employer in Sanders County is the Clark Fork Valley Hospital, employing over 250 people. If the initiative fails, then the legislators in the next legislative session will be responsible for determining the future of the program – and possibly the fate of our rural hospitals as well as the health and well-being of our low-income people. I believe that having a healthy population and a healthy economy contribute to the health of our state and nation on the whole.

4. If you are elected and look ahead to the end of your term, what one significant change will you initiate?

Diane Magone

Looking for common ground and ways that we can come together to solve problems effecting our state and its people is my major goal. As a nation and as a state we have become so polarized that we are unable to accomplish pretty much anything. It is overwhelming to think that we can even have an effect on national policies, but we CAN do something on a local and state level. In order for this to happen, we need to sit down together and talk about the problems facing our state and communities. This is the way that our legislature used to work – as an example, my father, a Democrat, served in the House back in the 1970s and one of the people he relied on the most for direction was a man named Bob Brown, a Republican from the Whitefish area. They worked together to pass legislation that worked for the people of Montana in the areas that really mattered – as true representatives of the people of Montana. If I am elected, my goal is to represent ALL of the constituents of District 14 to the best of my ability. As legislators, we need to listen to the people we represent and then respond by considering and passing legislation that is important for our rural communities, whether it be in the area of education, health care, jobs, infrastructure, or public lands, and at the same time find ways to work together to preserve our treasured Montana way of life.

 

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