From abortion rights to apple trees, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte fielded a number of topics during his monthly phone visit to the KGVO Talk Back show on Tuesday.

One caller challenged the governor over the Roe v Wade decision and that the Montana Constitution still protects the right to abortion in the state. Gianforte maintained his strong pro-life stance.

“I ran as a pro-life candidate, and was very clear that life is precious and it needs to be protected in Montana,” began Gianforte. “Nothing has changed. That's why I was pleased to sign five pro-life bills into law during the last legislative session. Montana is unique because of some of the precedents of the Montana Supreme Court, particularly the Armstrong case, so we're in dialogue with legislative leadership. But I just want folks to know, as long as I'm Governor; we're going to protect life in Montana.”

Gianforte touted the efforts he and his administration have made to boost the state’s economic growth, especially the advancement of his apprenticeship program.

“You can attribute this to the Montana work ethic,” he said. “We found ourselves in an economic pandemic, on top of the health pandemic, so we just got government out of the way. We did the largest tax cut in the history of the state. We've been repealing regulations and we've changed our licensure rules to expand apprenticeships. In fact, we created more apprenticeships in the trades in the first half of 2022 than in the entire year previous or the one before that.”

One caller asked the governor if he planned to send Montana National Guard personnel to the southern border to support the governors of southern Border States.

“Talking with the governors in the Border Strike Force, I was actually talking last night with Governor Ducey out of Arizona, in addition to talking with Governor Greg Abbott last week from Texas,” he said. “This is a national problem and you're right. Every state is a border state. We've committed law enforcement resources and other resources to help the states do what President Biden is not doing on the southern border.”

Gianforte said Montana National Guard personnel have already helped in various areas around the country, and he has no plans to send them to the southern border.

Regarding existing burdensome regulations, Gianforte brought up the antiquated 'anti-huckster’ law currently on the books in Montana.

“Do you know it's illegal if you have an apple tree, and you have a 12-year-old, and they pick a few apples and they set up a stand at the street, and they sell those apples, they violated the law in Montana?”, he asked. “That’s because you're not allowed to sell fruit without a ‘huckster license’. Who even knew that? We're looking at every single one of these because we have some of the most restrictive licensure rules in the country, and we need to bring some common sense to it.”

Gianforte also touted the creation of the new Housing Task Force to help bring about more affordable housing with fewer regulations and restrictions.

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