The State Budget, I-183, and the ACA

There’s a lot to cover in today’s update, but we want to take a moment to thank you for your continued commitment to the work of uplifting the voices and experiences of Montana women and families. Your advocacy at home and in your communities means the world to us and doesn’t go unnoticed. As always, we’re proud to be doing this work alongside of you.

Over the course of this summer and fall, the state has been forced to make serious cuts to the budget in many crucial departments and program areas. More cuts are anticipated in the coming months. These aren’t just numbers and dollar signs- they represent vital programs and services that help make our communities and families safe, healthy, and economically vibrant and are services that our neighbors depend on.

The legislature has one job- to balance the budget. Instead of adopting smart revenue-raising measures, they’ve forced drastic cuts across the board. The most at-risk Montanans shouldn’t be asked to shoulder the burden of our state’s decline in revenue.

Join with communities across Montana as we rally against the devastating budget cuts and demand a special session to consider raising revenue on Wednesday, October 4th at 12:30pm at the Jeanette Rankin statue on the 2nd floor of the Capitol Building in Helena. The Legislative Finance Interim Committee will be meeting and we can attend the committee meeting and offer public comment beginning at 1pm.

Can’t make it to a rally? Leave messages for the Legislative Finance Committee and your legislators and tell them not to balance the budget on the backs of folks with disabilities, students, and seniors.

You can find out who your legislator is, and how to call and email them by clicking here.

Now is the time for us to speak up, share our stories, and say how these cuts will hurt our friends, families, and neighbors who need help the most.

I-183 is the proposed initiative that would force Montanans to prove their gender to anyone demanding to see paperwork before allowing access to facilities in public spaces, such as libraries, parks, and schools. I-183 threatens the dignity and safety of all Montanans, but will be especially dangerous for trans Montanans.

Trans people are valuable members of our community. Although most people may not be aware that they know a person who is transgender; they live, work, and play alongside us and deserve equal access to public spaces.

It is time to get to work to defeat this initiative. Please join us by taking the pledge to oppose I-183 (link) and by attending a Supporter Event in your community. Our first event, in Missoula, is this Thursday, Sept. 28th.

It will take all of our collective energies to defeat this discriminatory initiative. Montana Women Vote, Forward Montana, and the Montana Human Rights Network are hosting Trans Allyship and Supporter trainings across the state. In this training, you’ll hear stories of what it means to be trans in Montana, get everyday actions you can take to support our Trans and non-binary neighbors, and learn what roles you can play in defeating the proposed ballot initiative I-183.

We have several trainings already scheduled- click the links below to find out more! Don’t see your town listed yet? Don’t worry — we’re hosting more throughout this fall, so stay tuned!

Thursday, September 28th training in Missoula
Monday, October 2nd training in Bozeman
Thursday, October 5th in Kalispell

Can’t make a training? Planning on going to a training, but want to get ahead of the advocacy work we’ll be taking on in the upcoming year? Click here to take the pledge to oppose I-183!

The newest attempt to repeal the ACA has been postponed. The Cassidy-Graham bill, written by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), was unable to garner support from the 50 Senators needed to move the proposal forward by the September 30th reconciliation deadline.

This is great news and we want to say thank you for once again taking up the mantle and reaching out to our Congressional leaders about the importance of health care access for all Montanans. This work would not be possible without your time, energy, and support.

We do expect this fight to continue into 2018. Consider taking some time today to call our Senators and Representative and ask them to reject any proposals brought forward that would devastate healthcare for tens of thousands of seniors, people with disabilities, children, and low-income adults.

Sen. Daines: (202) 224–2651
Sen. Tester:(202) 224–2644
Rep. Gianforte: (202) 225–3211

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If you have questions about or work or how to get involved, contact Micah at If you’d like to make a gift to support our work, click here.

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