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Budgets Aren’t Boring – MT Women Gather to Talk Numbers

PHOTO: Montana Women Vote Co-director Olivia Riutta says women from all over the state are in Helena today for the 2013 Women's Policy Institute.
PHOTO: Montana Women Vote Co-director Olivia Riutta says women from all over the state are in Helena today for the 2013 Women's Policy Institute.
February 1, 2013

HELENA, Mont. – Budgets aren't boring. That's the topic as women from around the state are gathering in Helena Friday to learn how state and federal budgets are connected to their neighborhoods.

It's the 2013 Women's Policy Leadership Institute, and there's special focus this year on the possible Medicaid expansion and Indian Country issues.

Olivia Riutta, co-director of Montana Women Vote, coordinates the event.

"We have a budget surplus going into this legislative session,” she says, “and an opportunity to decide to reinvest in some programs and services that really strengthen communities, strengthen families."

About 40 women are at the Capitol this morning to meet with legislators and try their hand at citizen lobbying.

Riutta says one session will help women learn how to effectively share their personal connections to decisions in Helena.

"A lot of the policy decisions that are being made in Helena right now will directly impact women and families across the state,” she explains. “And so working with women, giving them the tools to continue to tell their story. It's really important."

The gathering ends Saturday, and includes a workshop on how to run for office, or help a friend run for office.


Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MT