Issues

AFFORDABLE, ACCESSIBLE, QUALITY HEALTHCARE

Every Montanan deserves access to affordable quality healthcare, no matter where they live. In a time when premiums are rising, and uncertainty is being sown in Washington, Montanans need a congresswoman who will fight for them. As a member of the Montana House of Representatives, Kathleen passed a bill allowing cancer patients to afford the care they need to survive, worked to eliminate “surprise” medical bills that can cost families tens of thousands of dollars, and proposed fixes to ensure that every patient is protected equally, no matter whether they purchased their insurance on the individual market or access it through group coverage.

Kathleen has heard the frustrations of many across the state who lack access, funds, or coverage for essential services. She experienced these issues firsthand as a caregiver to her mother, who contracted Alzheimer's Disease at a young age. She will defend and seek to improve the healthcare Americans have rightfully come to rely on. Time and time again, Montanans have asked for better, expect better, and Kathleen will hit the ground running, find constructive solutions and speak up for what works.

OPPORTUNITY – GOOD JOBS AND QUALITY EDUCATION

A job with decent pay and benefits. A good public education. Affordable college. The ability to save for a healthy retirement. The ability to stay on the land if you so choose. Affordable housing.

Many Montanans lack access to the basic necessities which create opportunity for those who aren’t born with it, those who dream of success but have encountered situational barriers to achievement. Pushing for more high-tech, entrepreneurial, renewable energy, and film industry jobs in the Montana House of Representatives, Kathleen was looking for innovative solutions to the problems she heard about in her state. She authored and passed a bill that created a new type of corporation in Montana to allow mission-driven entrepreneurs to work to make a difference without the fear of being sued for not maximizing profits. She rewrote Montana’s food laws to remove redundancies and inconsistencies, including a local food bill that has created numerous new home-based businesses and hundreds of new products for our economy. And the work Kathleen did in 2013 to initiate an Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income working Montanans built dialogue and momentum that led to the successful passage of the measure in 2015.

Kathleen believes dynamic, positive change – for individuals and businesses alike – can be achieved through community colleges, skill training, apprenticeships, entrepreneurship, and business growth. She is committed to ensuring Montanans have excellent and diverse opportunities for career training and education. And Kathleen will work tirelessly to ensure that all working Montanans are treated fairly, with safe jobs, decent paychecks, and benefits. Together, we can build and diversify opportunities across our communities and economic sectors, and help those striving to overcome such barriers to achieve their own American Dream.

SUPPORTING AGRICULTURE

Agriculture is the backbone of Montana’s economy, and far too many in the agricultural sector are struggling to stay afloat. We need policies that support farmers and ranchers and a Farm Bill that works for Montana. In her current work with the nonprofit Western Landowners’ Alliance, Kathleen is working to help Montanans stay on their family farms and ranches and to bring the next generation back to the land. A protector of senior water rights and a proponent of local farming, Kathleen has garnered support from farmers and ranchers because of her knowledge and her fair, inclusive, and practical approach. She understands that agriculture is not only a staple of our past and present, but critical to our future.

PROTECTING OUR PUBLIC LANDS

We have seen countless attempts by politicians in Washington to transfer Montana’s public lands to the states or sell them off, but Montanans know how important it is to protect public access to public lands, ensuring recreation opportunities for generations to come. Kathleen – a hunter, angler, hiker, and skier – counts herself among the 81% of Montanans who regularly enjoy the great outdoors.

The outdoor industry in Montana generates $7.1 billion annually, creates 71,000 jobs, and provides $286 in state and local taxes. But our landscapes’ importance can’t just be reduced to the numbers; the intangibles of the mountain vistas, sweeping grasslands, and dramatic river valleys are what have drawn so many of us to call Big Sky Country home. Protecting Montana’s public lands is an issue which transcends party politics.

PRESERVING OUR NATURAL WORLD

The natural world is changing on a global scale, and our landlocked state is not immune to the changing climate. Here in Montana, we have a statutory mandate to “advance harmony between man and the environment” – a perfect challenge for a proven problem-solver. Hotter and drier summers, fishing closures due to warmer trout streams, and uncharacteristically severe forest fires are shining a light on the grand scale of man-made threats to our environment.

Having worked to bring businesses and conservationists together to craft policies that encourage responsible oil and gas development and mitigate the effects development can have on landowners, Kathleen knows firsthand how to find paths to success in the polarized theatre of natural resource dialogue. Kathleen will work hard in Washington to demonstrate the critical value of environmental protection, and the fundamental need to change our approach to finding solutions.

TAX REFORM

With Congress now talking about cutting taxes for corporations, taking away deductions for families, and adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt, we need Representatives who have shown constructive leadership on fiscal policy. We need people at the helm who can insert themselves quickly into the dialogue and decision-making in DC. Kathleen has the expertise, the experience, and the ethics Montana deserves.

Kathleen served as Vice Chair of the House Taxation Committee in the Montana Legislature. In that leadership position, she built a powerful, capable team. Together, they worked to craft fair, equitable tax policy for Montana citizens and businesses, show the fallacy of trickle-down economics, and speak out on the increasing income gap. Kathleen doesn’t just pay lip service to supporting small businesses, she has experience crafting tax policy that actually helps small business owners in Montana. In 2015, she helped craft a Revenue Estimate which avoided the many difficult service cuts we are now seeing due to the 2017 Legislature's flawed Estimate.

“I look forward to working with you and all Montanans to creatively and effectively advance Montana’s economy while enhancing the values we hold dear… and the opportunity to call this wonderful place home. To heal our nation, we need a member of Congress with policy chops, that both knows how to lay the groundwork for successful policy change, and how to craft it. Someone who truly represents you and seeks your best interest, not their own. Together we can heal our nation and ensure Washington works for us not against us.”Kathleen Williams