Just prior to a Public Safety Forum with law enforcement, local government and medical officials, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte made time to visit the KGVO studios and speak with our listeners.

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Governor Gianforte explained that he was in Missoula to listen to community leaders on issues of public safety.

“We're having a Public Safety Forum,” said Gianforte. “I did one in Billings about a month ago. Today we're bringing together the mayor, the county commissioners, the sheriff, the chief of police, as well as addiction recovery experts. I'm here to listen. We've seen a remarkable spike in violent crime. Drugs are intertwined with this. What should we be doing as a state and in our local communities to make our communities safer and help people that are trapped in addiction become healthy and be self sustaining?”

One listener asked Governor Gianforte what his administration is doing about divesting Montana’s investments pertaining to Russia.

“We should not be investing with our enemies,” he said. “That's why just this week I worked with the Montana Board of Investments. We started with Russia. We identified about $15 million of money that was invested through an independent investment firm on behalf of the state. We have directed the board of investments working with them to sell those assets.”

Another listener asked about what his administration is doing to guarantee the integrity of local and state elections.

“We have to have confidence in our elections,” he said. “That's why last legislative session we made a couple of significant changes that will increase election integrity. One, you now need a photo ID to vote in Montana. That's important because we want to know the person that's casting the vote is the person they say they are. And secondly, we got rid of same day voter registration, which was a problem, particularly in our campus communities, because we'd have busload showing up an hour before the poll was going to close and they be there till two o'clock in the morning trying to count all the votes and really unable to verify if those people were legitimate Montana residents.”

Gianforte tied those new laws to a strategy to forestall a federal takeover of state elections.

“It was also done to give us standing if the Feds tried to take over our state elections,” he said. “Now those draconian things they're looking at would be in contrast with Montana law, and that would give us the ability to sue. I think our constitution is pretty clear and the Supreme Court would side with the states. So, this good policy also sets us up for the fight with things that may be coming.”

Click here to listen to the conversation with Governor Gianforte.


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