Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - State legislator Brad Tschida appeared on the Thursday Talk Back show to answer questions from listeners as he runs for the State Senate in District 49.

Tschida was asked by a caller about the controversial Legislative Referendum 131. He read part of the initiative’s ballot language.

Tschida Read from LR 131

“If you read the text of LR 131, it's pretty plain and simple and I'm going to read some of it because I brought it with me,” began Tschida. “In section two item one it says ‘the state asserts a compelling interest in protecting the life of any infant born alive following an abortion’. Now there's a lady in Kalispell by the name Robinson Surtell, who is a very strong pro-life woman and she survived two abortion attempts, so there's a woman I put a lot of credibility in.”

Tschida further explained his support for LR 131.

“If you go on further in the bill, it says, Item two; an infant born life is a legal person for all purposes under the laws of the state and is entitled to the protection of the law, including the right to appropriate and reasonable medical care and treatment,” he said. “It also says in the absence of proper legal protections, newborn infants who have survived abortions have been denied appropriate life-saving or life-sustaining medical care and treatment and have been left to die. So we need to provide the same service for those individuals as we provide for premature babies.”

Tschida says to Look Closely at Ballot Measures before you Vote 'Yes'

Tschida provided one example of how Missoula residents are literally voting to tax themselves out of their homes with new ballot initiatives.

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“I met a gentleman who broke his back in a car accident in 2019, and he's now living over at the Bruce Blattner apartments, and he said ‘I live on 1,700 bucks a month’,” he said. “So if his rent goes up, what is somebody like that going to do to pay the extra rent? People in Missoula need to take a look at stopping the self-inflicted wounds, all the bond issues, mill levies, and those kinds of things. They directly impact the cost of living, whether you own a home, or rent a home, so if you're inflicting wounds on yourself, stop.”

Asked by a listener if he has any bills he wants to put forward in the legislature if elected, Tschida responded with a plea to help veterans.

Stop Taxing Benefits for Montana Veterans

“I would eliminate the taxes on military retirement, I believe we need to do that,” he said. “We've got folks who absolutely put their life on the line irrespective of whether they have seen combat or not. These are people who stood at the ready and said, I'm willing to give my life for my country. And I believe that we owe them at the very least the ability to live in a state of Montana that is number two nationally in terms of the number of veterans. It may be even number one, but we're right at the top of the states that have a huge veteran population. Let's do them the courtesy and the favor and acknowledge their service by saying your military pensions are not going to be taxed in the state of Montana.”

Tschida is opposed by Democrat Willis Curdy in Senate District 49, formerly held by Democrat Diane Sands.

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