Jason Priest for State Senate

Why I’m Running…

I love Montana and I want it to be easier for Montanans to work and recreate in our great state. Government is making life difficult for our families, workers, and small business. Years of anti-natural resource development policies, growth in state government, and expensive health care mandates have created a subsistence economy and anemic job growth.

I will provide the leadership to help modernize our environmental, tax, and health care laws to help Montana’s businesses to compete more effectively with those in neighboring states and even globally. With smarter government policies, workers and families can be the main beneficiaries of new opportunities. I believe strong families, traditional Montana values, and good jobs – not government – are the backbone of our communities.

Montanans of every political viewpoint wish for less divisive politics. While I have principled views on the proper scope of government, I‘ll contribute to a respectful discussion of our challenges. Ultimately, the tone of politics depends upon the size of government. Smaller government means less politics and smaller fights. Less intrusive government means fewer winners and losers and less resentment that results from bruising battles. A more modest role for government means less conflict among friends, among neighbors, and between workers and employers.

CREATE JOBS

  • Montana needs an opportunity economy that benefits workers as well as employers.
  • Montana’s tax, workers compensation, and unemployment laws that discourage business formation and growth must be reformed.

INCREASE TAKE-HOME PAY

  • Montana ranks 49th in take-home pay.
  • We must modernize our environmental, health care, and employment laws to make Montana more attractive for business creation, development, and re-location.
  • We must eliminate barriers to natural resource development and manufacturing, the two highest wage paying sectors.

LOWER HEALTH CARE COSTS

  • Lack of competition, Medicaid/Medicare cost-shifting to private insurance and individuals, mandates, and the absence of incentives for wellness are driving up the cost of health insurance.
  • Montana must assert its right to reject federal mandates that require our citizens to purchase expensive health care insurance.

LOWER TAXES

  • One of the best ways to increase workers’ incomes is to lower what they pay to the government.
  • Economic growth will provide adequate revenue to fund limited, effective, and efficient government and the rest should be returned to taxpayers.
  • Taxes should be low, simple, flat, and free of loopholes.
  • Tax policies should be changed to favor savings, investment, job creation, and economic growth.

SMALLER GOVERNMENT

  • Government should do for all Montanans what no Montanan can do for him/herself – provide for good roads, public safety, and clean air and water.
  • Smaller government is better government.
  • Progressive taxes and regulations create conflict between neighbors, friends, and industries.
  • Smaller government is less expensive and allows for business and job creation.
  • After spending trillions of dollars, lowering the tide for all boats, and creating a poisonous political environment it is time to recognize that the Welfare State has failed to improve the lives of Americans.

PUBLIC ACCESS

  • I support Montana’s existing Stream Access laws but we must be careful not to chip away at private property rights or create wildlife or livestock management problems for ranchers and farmers.
  • I strongly support the legal rights of sportsmen and other members of the public to access our state and federal lands.

PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS

  • Private property rights are the cornerstone of a free and prosperous people. They are the foundation upon which freedom and liberty were created.
  • Private property rights are the best check on out-of-control spending and regulations.

EDUCATION

  • As Montanans, we must do more to ensure that our children are equipped to compete in the global economy.
  • Public education should create an environment that is supportive of diverse career paths including college, vocational trades, and craft skills.
  • More control over curriculum and funding allocation is critical to the success of public education.
  • We must ensure that all Montanans have access to an education that gives them the chance to maximize their individual gifts and interests.

GUN RIGHTS

  • I’m a gun owner, hunter, and a long-time member of the National Rifle Association.
  • Guns don’t commit crimes, people do. Those criminals who misuse guns should be punished.
  • I support Montana’s new law to allow the manufacture and sale of Montana-made firearms.
  • I oppose firearm registration and state licensing of firearm owners.
  • I oppose legislation further restricting firearm sales by individuals at gun shows.
  • Montana should do more to limit frivolous lawsuits against firearm manufacturers when one of their manufactured guns is used in commission of a crime.

Stronger Families

  • We need policies that strengthen families, not undermine them
  • I’m pro-life
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