Once a month, Robyn Driscoll, Chair of the Montana Democratic Party, visits KGVO’s Talk Back show to answer questions from listeners.

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Driscoll kicked off the show by touting a bill by Montana’s Senior Senator Jon Tester to use ARPA funds for expanding high speed internet access throughout the state.

“That's Tester bringing stuff home for Montana,” began Driscoll. He’s using those ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds Montana is expanding their high speed internet across the state. I think that over the past two years we have all found out how important high speed internet is, whether it is ZOOM meetings for businesses large and small or online educating for kids that can't get into the classroom.”

Driscoll acknowledged the fact that large portions of Montana have no access to high speed internet.

“About one in three Montanans don't have access to broadband and that's three times the national average and so and that divide of course is even greater in rural Montana where three in five Montanans are underserved,” she said.

Driscoll, the state Democratic Party chair, took the opportunity to take a dig at Republican Governor Greg Gianforte.

“I have to put a dig in here that our governor of course has spent the last year criticizing ARPA, but he's out there holding up checks and taking credit,” she said. “This is something Jon Tester brought to Montana, not the governor. He fought at every turn and now he (Gianforte) is parading around taking credit for it.”

Driscoll also praised Tester for his ‘Right to Repair’ bill before Congress.

“These big companies are selling farm ranch equipment, and we all know just being from Montana how expensive that equipment is,” she said. “A lot of it is computerized and when you go as a rancher or a farmer and buy a piece of equipment, you don't get a manual that shows you how to repair any part of that because they want you to have to take it into a shop.”

Driscoll stayed an extra 30 minutes past her scheduled closing to answer more questions from listeners.

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