1) The state should mandate paid family and medical leave and paid sick days so workers don’t have to choose between taking care of themselves or their families and their job security.
  • Robert Farris-Olsen (D): Agree
    • As a member of the Helena City Commission, I instigated paid parental leave so a new parent wouldn’t be put in the position of choosing a family or their job. This should not be limited to just parenthood, but rather all family and medical leave situations.
  • Dennison Rivera (R): Did not respond
2) Do you support alternative approaches to our criminal justice system that decrease incarceration, including but not limited to investment in mental health care and drug treatment?
  • Robert Farris-Olsen (D): Yes
    • We know alternatives to incarceration work. In Lewis and Clark County, for example we have a drug court that helps people with their drug use, and more recently we have a pretrial diversion program. These types of programs not only help folks from re-offending, but if we can avoid putting folks with drug problems into the prison system, it may help them avoid from re-offending. We’ve also seen how Veterans’ courts can limit recidivism among veterans and help them deal with any underlying drug or mental health issue.
  • Dennison Rivera (R): Did not respond
3) Government should create and maintain a robust social safety net – including SNAP, TANF, housing assistance, and Medicaid, among others – so those most in need don’t fall through the cracks.
  • Robert Farris-Olsen (D): Agree
  • Dennison Rivera (R): Did not respond
4) Would you vote to continue Montana’s crucial Medicaid expansion, without barriers to access such as work requirements or increasing premiums?
  • Robert Farris-Olsen (D): Yes
  • Dennison Rivera (R): Did not respond
5) Do you support or oppose tribal governments receiving the same property tax exemption as non-tribal government?
  • Robert Farris-Olsen (D): Support
  • Dennison Rivera (R): Did not respond
6) Would you vote for any bills restricting a woman’s ability to make her own healthcare decisions in consultation with her doctor?
  • Robert Farris-Olsen (D): No
    • As one of the few lawyers in the house, and specifically on the judiciary committee, it was my role during the 2019 session to stand up and make the legal arguments against imposing restrictions on women’s healthcare decisions. And I will keep doing so if I’m re-elected. Montana is fortunate to have incredibly strong privacy protections that our Supreme Court has extend to women’s reproductive health.
  • Dennison Rivera (R): Did not respond
7) Hanna’s Act (HB 21) and other MMIW policies need increased investment and statutory funding in order to have meaningful impacts.
  • Robert Farris-Olsen (D): Agree
  • Dennison Rivera (R): Did not respond
8) Would you vote to add sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression as protected classes under the MT Human Rights Act (MHRA), ensuring that all Montanans have the same access to legal protections in their workplace, housing, and public accommodations?
  • Robert Farris-Olsen (D): Yes
    • I voted to expand the MHRA in the 2019 session, and extended protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression while on the Helena City Commission.
  • Dennison Rivera (R): Did not respond
9) In order to fully invest in communities and infrastructure, Montana should raise revenue by closing tax loopholes and ensuring that everyone is paying their fair share.
  • Robert Farris-Olsen (D): Agree
  • Dennison Rivera (R): Did not respond