MISSOULA – Thursday marked the first day of the Democratic Legislative tour for Montana State representatives. It’s the first stop of a tour aimed at showing state legislature representatives what Montanans want to see improved in the state in 2019.
The representatives started their tour at the Kettlehouse Amphitheater in Bonner Thursday morning, and then headed to Missoula to host a round table discussion on economic growth.
House Democratic leader Jenny Eck, state rep Shane Morigeau, state rep Marilyn Ryan and state senator Dick Barrett sat down with local business leaders to discuss business development in the region.
Startups in Missoula were a big topic in the meetings, and Eck said she was impressed by the status of start ups in the area.
"Well, I think it was really interesting to hear about how many startups there are in the Missoula area. It was really quite impressive to learn what has progressed over the last ten years in this community and I was not aware of the extent to which startups are happening and they’re not coming from out of state." Eck said. "They’re starting here with local people who are talented and smart and energetic and want to give to the state and raise their families here and they’re doing it. So it was inspiring, it was great."
Business leaders said that they were very appreciateve for the time to talk to state representitives and also talked about how they would like to see some sort of tax on tourists coming into the state.
The tour then made a stop at Missoula’s Urban Indian Health Center for a tour and a sit down with the center’s leadership to discuss how to improve funding for the center and medical coverage for the Native American population.
"Dems have always shown that we care about all Montanans. We care about whether you live on the reservation or off the reservation," Morigeau said. "You know American Indian population is everywhere and the Dems have always stepped up and supported everybody in this state, whether it’s the working class or our Indian population when they move to Missoula like myself."
The group finished their Missoula tour by knocking on doors for state senator Diane Sands.
The next stop on the tour is up on the Hi-Line where state Dems will visit Great Falls and Havre, starting on Monday.