On the Issues
Families across Montana continue to climb the ladder of opportunity: Montana’s middle-class has experienced the largest growth of any state, more folks are working than ever before in Montana’s history and wages are going up, and unemployment is at its lowest in a decade.
Mike has played a key role in successful efforts to boost Montana’s economic growth, expand business opportunities and help workers find better-paying jobs his entire career in public service. He spearheaded a new tax credit for businesses who hire apprentices and fought for an additional tax credit for working Montana families.
But Mike knows we have to do more to make sure employers in Montana have the talented and trained workforce they need. Just like he has his entire career, Mike will seek out ways to increase business investment and opportunity, build career pathways for workers and expand opportunity in urban and rural communities across Montana.
Healthcare remains one of the top issues Montana families face. Mike has been championing increased access to quality and affordable healthcare since he worked for Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies, a non-profit organization that serves women and children.
Fast forward to this year’s fight to reauthorize Medicaid expansion, Mike traveled every corner of the state for months, visiting our most rural hospitals and the folks in those communities to fight for jobs, economic livelihoods, and the healthcare he knows Montanans deserve.
Mike has already proposed to pass a bipartisan policy to allow for the safe importation of prescription drugs from Canada – a plan that has passed in both Republican and Democratic states and are supported by the Trump Administration – to lower the burden of costs for all Montanans.
Raised in Butte, Mike grew up on the picket lines and was part of the Montana families fighting together against powerful corporations for better wages and better working conditions. He’s fought for our brothers and sisters in labor every step along the way in his career in public service.
Mike never missed an opportunity to join the locked out workers in Three Forks one year ago, knowing that Montanans stand stronger together and that it is the hardworking folks of our state who are worth fighting for. He worked directly with lawmakers this session to pass a bill providing healthcare for Montana firefighters, a decades long fight.
Mike is proven leader for our unions, for our working families, and for the future of this state. He has lived the experience of communities founded on unions and families sacrificing for stronger livelihoods. He carries on that fight today as the Lt. Governor of our state and he will do the same as Governor.
Mike spent his childhood growing up on public lands and takes every opportunity he can take to get outdoors and enjoy all the outdoor opportunity Montana has to offer. He’s also seen first-hand how Montana’s outdoor recreation economy contributes to the state’s economy and provides good-paying jobs for Montanans. So he knows how important access to our public lands — owned by us — is to who we are as Montanans.
There are powerful interests pushing to take public lands out of public hands in order to exploit our clean air and clean water and natural resources. Mike will stand up against any attempt to transfer federal land and as Governor — a critical member of the State Land Board — will work with our partners in the conservation and outdoors community to increase access to public lands — not strip it away.
As someone who has attended public school in Montana and sent his three kids to public school in Montana, Mike Cooney understands the importance of public education and the responsibility of leaders to invest in our future. He is a strong champion of Montana’s public education system and continually seeks innovative ways to support educators and increased funding.
Mike has a proven record of fighting for Montana’s earliest learners when he fought alongside Governor Bullock for universal preschool, college tuition freeze, 6-mill levy, and other initiatives that directly impact students and families all across Montana. But Mike knows there’s more to be done: to bring down the costs of Montana’s higher education system, to expand access to learning opportunities — from pre-K to K-12 and two-year colleges through apprenticeships.
Montanans know our climate is changing because we see it in front of our own eyes. Glaciers are melting, crop seasons are getting shorter and more unpredictable, fire seasons are getting longer and more expensive. Across the state folks including farmers, ranchers, outdoorsmen and women, students and more know it and agree we must take action to protect Montana for future generations — for our kids and our grandkids — without leaving workers behind.
Mike Cooney knows climate change is real and knows it’s going to take all of us to make a meaningful difference. He’s committed to bringing everyone to the table – every individual, every business, every industry and every community — that depends on our clean air, our pristine water, our open lands and outdoor spaces to ensure they are protected from further negative impacts of a changing climate.