House District 9 Q & A
Rodrik Brosten and Scott Reichner
House District 9 candidates were asked the following five questions:
1. What can the Legislature do to spur economic recovery and job growth?
2. How should the Legislature address the state government worker pension shortfall, which is projected to exceed $3 billion over the next 30 years?
3. The U.S. Supreme Court gave states the choice of whether to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. What should Montana do and why?
4. Given that the state is projected to have a surplus, what should be the Legislature’s budgetary priorities during the next session?
5. What are the other most pressing issues facing the Legislature and why?
HOUSE DISTRICT 9
Name: Scott Reichner
Party: Republican (incumbent)
Bio: Owner of Flathead Mortgage for 11 years; worked in banking for 23 years; attended Brigham Young University majoring in finance; lived in Bigfork 15 years; eight years on Bigfork School Board; two terms in Montana Legislature; chair of education in House; finance chair for Rick Hill governor campaign; state chairman for Mitt Romney presidential campaign
Years in the valley: 11
1. Government can support business growth by reducing costly burdens on employers. In 2011 we reduced work comp rates by 20 percent for employers across the state. This reduced the burden on employers by $80 million in the first year! Businesses were able to hire more people, provide pay increases, and in some cases keep the doors open. We can do more of the same in the next session.
2. This next session the Legislature will need to shore up the retirement system for our state employees. I am committed to helping fix this problem.
3. The next governor will have a lot to say about this issue. Once the election is over we will need to follow the governor’s lead and pass real Medicaid reform.
4. The budget surplus should be used in a few different ways. First we need to provide property tax relief to the homeowners who have been asking for relief for many, many years. Next we can shore up the pension system, properly fund education, and address our capital improvements for our schools.
5. Medicaid reform pension reform, property tax reform, job creation.
Name: Rodrik Brosten
Bio: Retired; worked as a carpenter, machinist and an engineer; mechanical engineering degree from Montana State University
Years in the valley: Born and raised in valley
1. A strong economy needs a competitive marketplace that works on the principle of supply and demand. I support a state-owned bank, similar to North Dakota’s, where all taxes, fees and federal money are deposited. The bank will partner with local banks, helping with capital and loans to help with job creation. All profits from the bank will go into the state coffers. This will ensure that Montana’s money will stay in Montana, not go to Wall Street. This is a 10th Amendment issue.
2. I support Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s plan. It calls for employees and their public employers to each increase their contributions an additional 1 percent of the salary paid. It will also funnel some revenue from natural resource development into the pensions and requires local governments to kick in more for their employees as well. A balanced plan where everyone contributes.
3. Yes we should expand Medicaid. After all, it is our tax money that the federal government is using to pay for it.
4. I am very concerned about our education system here in Montana. Our teachers are some of the lowest-paid teachers in the country but our students consistently score much better than average. There is a difference between teaching someone how to think and teaching some one what to think. We need to fully fund public education.
5. The government should be made up of ordinary citizens, not people who represent only the 1 percent. Corporations are not people and money is not speech. We need to overturn Citizens United. Vote for I-166.