Living Wages, Small Business, and the Environment

Just over two years ago, the Helena Area Chamber of Commerce asked me to sign a pledge opposing minimum wage increases or the creation of a living wage. The Chamber also wanted me to pledge to support business development at the expense of the environment.

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I'm proud to have rejected those requests then, and I will continue to work to ensuring that Montana's workers are paid sufficiently. Our workers are one of Montana's most valuable resources and we must make sure they are paid accordingly.

Our environment is another valuable resource that we can't ignore when making decisions about business. Instead we can promote economic growth while protecting our environment.  Our state employs 71,000 people in the recreation industry, which accounts for $7.1 billion in consumer spending. And counties with public lands attract people and jobs. These "public lands are helping to diversify Montana’s economy and fuel industries like outdoor recreation, and professional and technical services."* So economic growth and environmental protection go hand-in-hand.

As a legislator, I will work to protect Montana's assets whether its workers or the environment. I hope I can count on your support.