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March 10, 2019     Sidney Herald
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March 10, 2019
 

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8A SUNDAY, MARCH 10,2019 BY SHAYLEE RAGAR UM LEGISLATIVE NEWS SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF MONIAIIA SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM HELENA — On a Friday during the 66th Montana Legislature, Rep. Kimberly Dudik, D—Missoula, joked on Twitter she might need to clone herself. But, in reality, it may have come in handy. That morning, Dudik had five bills scheduled for hearings in three different committees between 8 am. and 9 am. covering issues from state child protec- tion services to property tax relief. This is typical for the the fourth term representative who has consistently carried a high number bills each session. Dudik is carry- ing 26 bills this session, which is the highest for a lawmaker in the House and the second highest out of all lawmakers. When Dudik is not working at the state Capitol, she’s working as a private practice attorney, serving on a va- riety of nonprofit boards and spending time with her four children. Her youngest child was born in the middle of the 2017 legislative session. He was born on a Thursday and Dudik was back at work on Monday with her baby in tow. “With the medicine and technology that Sidney Middle School’s Student of the Month we have, I think I can handle going to work,” Dudik said about return- ing to the Capitol three days postpartum. Plus, she said, she had bills to attend to. “I come from hardy stock, I think,” Dudik said. Her grandmother had 15 kids, and her grand- father was a coal miner who turned to moon- shining when he was injured on the job. Dudik said her mother was an entrepreneur and ran for Frenchtown’s school board, instilling in her daughter the mindset that she could do any- thing she wanted. Before Dudik went to law school, she was a nurse for two years, and specialized in neona- tal care. She traveled to Kenya on a mission trip, and said it was an eye-opening experience to see what it was like to live without a social welfare system. She said she wanted to do more to effect change, so she went to law school at the University of Montana and then got a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University. Dudik says it’s that desire to do more that’s pushing her to run for Montana’s open Attor- ney General seat in 2020. Fellow Missoula Democrat Sen. Diane Around our area SIDNEY HERALD Sands has partnered with Dudik on a number of bills in the Montana Legislature, and both are passionate about crimi- nal justice reform. Sands said Dudik has worked hard to develop relation- ships across the aisle. “I’d like a glass of her energy,” Sands said. Sands said she has “enormous respect” for Dudik and said she has legislative “street smarts.” Dudik has a clear vision of how the criminal justice system should change, Sands said. Before working as a private practice attorney in Missoula, Dudik was a criminal and child abuse prosecutor in Gallatin County. Then she worked as an assistant attorney general under Gov. Steve Bullock when he held that office. She worked in the child protection unit. That experience is often reflected in the bills Dudik carries, like House Bill 549, which would revise child sex trafficking laws, or House Bill 188, which would increase the statute of limitations for civil actions taken by victims of child abuse. One bill Sands said she and Dudik have worked on is Senate Bill 289, which would protect a pregnant woman seeking treatment for substance abuse from prosecution. §Slflfl£lll£lll Bfinlg Sidney Middle School is pleased to announce February’s Student of the Month, 6th grader, Gracie Hentges. Gracie is a kind student that is willing to help her classmates when they are in need, often times this help is given without having to be asked. She is kind and respectful to her classmates and teachers alike. She always seems to have a smile on her face. Gracie has made the transition from elementary school to the middle f, school look easy. She earned straight A’s the entire first semester. She is very conscientious about her work, turning assignments in on time and never having to ask for a second copy of worksheets or needing an extension to complete her assignments. Outside of school, she is involved in dance, swim team, and likes to hunt and garden. Rumor has it that Gracie grows an outstanding carrot crop. Congratulations to Gracie Hentges, daughter of Tiflani and Lance Hentges. Keep, up the great work; you are an excellent choice for Sidney Middle Schools Student of the Month! Home in IUIIHV [ll visit us unline at stockmanbank.com 39,00 square miles 0 community care air transports (FY18) 220+_ physidari‘and spddalist partners 20+ CSlm‘lunun Bunlc “Minced s legislatorls bills cover topics from child. protection to tags . SHAYle RAG/IR UM IEGISUJIVE NEWS SERVICE. Rep. Kimberly Dudik, D-Missoula, listens to debate in the House Rules Committee on Jan. 7. She also serves on the House Appropriations Committee, the Joint Select Committee on Settlement Accountability and on the Joint Committee on the Judicial Branch, Law Enforcement and Justice. In 2017, the Missoulian and a group of Univer- sity of Montana School of Journalism students reported that Montana did little to help preg- nant women suffering from addiction, and that failure only added to the state’s overburdened fos- ter care system and cor- rections facilities. The investigation also found both of these remedies are much costlier than preventive care, like sub- stance abuse treatment. Sands said Dudik was able to draw from her past medical expertise to help draft the legislation. SB 289 cleared the Senate and will move forward in the House. Sands is carrying a few bills originally brought by Dudik because, she said, political candidates often see their bills killed simply because the legislator is cam- paigning. Dudik officially an- nounced her run for attorney general in December before the first day of the Legisla- ture. She said she saw no reason to wait. “It was one of the worst kept secrets in the world that I wanted to do this,” Dudik said. If elected, Dudik would be the first woman to hold the attorney gen- eral’s office in Montana. Ella Knowles Haskell was the first woman to run for attorney general in 1892. She was an ex’ pert in mining litigation and the highest paid female attorney of her time. She ran and lost the race before women had the right to vote. In an email, Dudik said her campaign is on the backburner for the session, and that she’s focused on putting good policy first. ’ She has six bills that have passed the House and three that have reached the Governor’s desk. Out of the remaining bills carried by Dudik, 12 have been tabled in com- mittee, one failed second reading the House and five are either waiting to be voted on or for com- mittee hearings. And while Dudik is a Democrat, some of the policy she introduces has bipartisan support. The House recently passed a resolution car— Delivering you more, every day. Dedicated to you and your continued health. Every day we’re doing more to ensure the good people across North Dakota and Eastern Montana have access to the highest level of care. From Williston to Devils Lake to our medical center in Minot, we’re committed to improving lives and helping build healthier communities. community health centers across North Dakota hospitals serving the region a neural“ r We provide outstanding primary care physicians and specialists close to you. We offer more of the latest advances in cancer, heart, orthopedic, and .neurosurgical care. And we’re ready when and where you need emergency care with NorthStar Criticair, v our 24/7 air response. At Trinity Health, we’re dedicated to making better health ’2 possible by delivering you more. We’re proud to sen/e you and your community. To learn more, or to find a physician, visit MakingMorePossihle.com. W TRINITY HEALTH MAKING MORE POSSIBLE a ried by Dudik that’s co- sponsored by a number of Republicans, includ- ing Sen. Duane Ankney, of Colstrip, and Rep. Wendy McKamey, of Great Falls. House Joint Resolution 8 recognizes and honors military veterans in the state. In 2015, Dudik carried a bill that was backed by current Attorney Gen- eral Tim Fox to crack down on human traffick- ing in Montana. That bill was signed into law. Rep. Kenneth Holm- lund, R-Miles City, serves on the House Appropria- tions Committee with Dudik and is also inter- ested in criminal justice legislation. He said he has a great working relationship with Dudik and that she’s focused on truth when talking policy. “If you go to her, you better have your facts straight,” Holmlund said. With four young chil- dren, Dudik said she’s able to pursue her career goals because she has a great support system, in— cluding her husband and extended family living in the Missoula area. “If I didn’t have a part- ner who was supportive, it would be miserable,” Dudik said. Dudik said people have asked why she didn’t wait to run for public office until her kids had left home. She said she ,has felt disparaged by peers for working while having young children, and that men in similar situations aren’t criti- cized. Dudik said having voices of mothers and women in the Legisla- ture is important. She said she asks other women to run for office all the time. “If we aren’t the ones making laws and rules, then we’re letting some- one else do it,” Dudik said. , Dudik is political di- rector for the University of Montana’s NEW Lead- ership program, which encourages women to get involved in public policy. The. week-long program includes team building activities and network- ing events. a Brenna Love, 21, a ‘ business management and political science stu- dent at UM, participated in the program in 2017. Love is now working at the Capitol as a lobby- ist for the Associated Students of Montana. She said she looks up to Dudik and feels like she can turn to the lawmak- er with questions and concerns. “She exemplifies that you don’t have to fit into one mold of what a woman should be,” Love said. r SI zgmrnmmmmm: C‘O H930 :‘D’Uh'tfil'fim Vih'tm 00.. ct mr‘PmmC,Ha H‘NAHHmmmH