Details for Paul Dostal - Ad from 2022-09-18

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The state of Montana has a surplus of money and I understand that our
legislature is considering holding a special session in which they would consider
distributing this surplus to the residents of Montana. It’s our tax money, so give
it back to us, right? Wrong, I say.
One of the reasons that Montana has a surplus is because it has ignored its
duties and obligations.
The MT State Hospital at Warm Springs was notified in April of 2022 that
it would no longer receive Federal Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements due
to poor care and safety issues. A resident living in a wheelchair was sexually
assaulted this past year by another patient. This is just one of many instances
of neglect. The hospital is underfunded and understaffed. The patients in this
facility deserve quality care, and for that to happen, it needs increased funding
which includes more staff, better qualified staff, and better paid staff.
The State Prison in Deer Lodge has issues. Sections of the jail are no
longer used because they don’t meet requirements. Again, this facility needs
upgrading and more staffing.
Family Services needs more funding. I have been involved in this system,
and there are dedicated, capable workers working for it, but they are over
worked due to lack of staffing. The shortage of staff causes those employed to
put in long hours at a job that is very stressful. We need ample staff to support
parents to proactively prevent children from entering the foster-care system. For
those in the system, we need enough staff to support all those involved. Higher
pay and better benefits, which includes more paid leave time are necessary to
keep good workers on the state payroll.
A few years ago, the state closed many county offices, forcing people to
travel longer distances to deal with everything from property taxes to SNAP. We
are told that we don’t have to drive 66 miles from Geraldine to Great Falls to
take care of things as it can be done over the phone. Often times though, there
is not enough staff to man the phones to give time to those who need help or to
take care of business.
Upgrades should be considered for The School for the Deaf & Blind in
Great Falls.
Our court system is over loaded. We have a shortage of judges and public
defenders. If we hire more of either, and I think we should, we need to hire aides
to help out both. Public defenders who work for the state are underpaid and
overworked, which can lead to low-quality work.
State Parks need staff to maintain public spaces and many parks need
upgrading.
Our Fish, Wildlife and Game officials need to cover vast territory. Maybe we
should put a couple more on the payroll. Not only are they employeed to bring
law breakers to justice, they are needed to help with questions and to maintain
good relationships with landowners and hunters.
State roads, highways and bridges are being neglected. Many of our state
highways need to be widened.
One in particular is the highway thru the Swan Valley. I have pulled a stock trailer
on this road, and it could use a lot of work.
Many towns and cities need their sewer and water systems upgraded and
some help from the state would be a huge benefit.
I am not in favor of wasting tax dollars, but there are many useful and
needed places that need state support.
I am a 69-year-old, semi-retired farmer/rancher. I could use some refunded
money – I certainly could -and I won’t turn it down if it comes. But I would like
to see the State of Montana, use this surplus of tax dollars it has collected, to
properly fund state run organizations and hospitals and to insure that our roads
and bridges are safe for me to drive on.
Paid for by Paul J. Dostal

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