Montana Represents at National Budget & Policy Conference

DOs_ImAV4AAMbspThe Montana Budget and Policy Center was well-represented by four of our six staff members at the IMPACT 2017 Conference held in Washington, DC last week. Tara Jensen, Heather Cahoon, Adrienne Bombelles, and Kirsten Gerbatsch all attended.

With hundreds of people in attendance from over forty states, you may wonder how Montana fared. Well, we made a real splash at this year’s conference by sharing our state EITC success story, our state-tribal policy research, and our creative tactics in the ongoing fight to preserve access to affordable health care.

State-Tribal Policy Analyst Heather Cahoon kicked off the conference on Wednesday evening by reading three of her own poems in front of a packed house. The rest of the MBPC team was proud to watch her share her talent and life experiences with national foundations, organizations, and colleagues from around the country.

Tara Jensen

Tara Jensen, Co-Director of Public Affairs and Operations, spoke at two sessions on Friday.

In the session “A Whole New World: Strategies That Work to Impact Federal Debate,” Tara presented on a panel with staff from Idaho, New Jersey, and West Virginia, sharing our strategies in Montana to preserve the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and other investments that build opportunity for all Americans.

Tara also spoke at an EITC-specific workshop. In 2017, Montana was the only state to pass a refundable state earned income tax credit. Tara spoke about how we worked with partners to make our tax system more fair, get more resources to low-income families, and how this work is helping to build power and equity in addition to boosting incomes.

Kirsten Gerbatsch

Outreach and Communications Coordinator Kirsten Gerbatsch presented at the a workshop to communications professionals about the work MBPC has done in the past year to lift up spokespeople’s voices from all over the state in order to defend the Affordable Care Act.

Now, having returned to Montana after a full week, we are back at work feeling invigorated to continue our efforts on the state budget, the federal tax bills, and the on-going efforts to preserve the ACA and Medicaid.

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