Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - It’s always great to have the Governor of Montana on the phone to answer questions from our Talk Back listeners, and Wednesday was no exception.

One of my Talk Back callers asked Greg Gianforte about the controversial topic of gender surgery for minors in Montana. The governor was adamant about his administration’s stance.

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“The State of Montana will never take custody of a minor or a child because of gender issues, period, end of story,” began Governor Gianforte. “The state will never spend a dime on gender transition therapy for someone that's under our custody; period; end of story. I can't talk about the particular case but don't be concerned that the state is putting people through gender transitions. That's not going to happen on our watch.”

I asked the Governor about the funding for the Warm Springs State Hospital which lost its accreditation status several years ago, and how he and the legislature are working to restore that vital part of the healthcare system.

Gianforte said Warm Springs will be a Work In Progress for Several More Years

“(We allocated) $500 million total, with $300 million specifically for behavioral health, including rebuilding Warm Springs,” he said. “We needed to change the leadership out there and we did that. We're in the midst of the turnaround. We expect that we'll get back to certification, but we're fixing a problem that has existed for decades out there (at Warm Springs). We need a care facility that is appropriate and the facility wasn't up to snuff, and the leadership wasn't up to snuff, so we're fixing both.”

Asked about the recently created property tax commission (of which Missoula’s own Sandra Vasecka is a member), Gianforte repeated his stance that it’s the local communities that have a spending problem.

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On Property Taxes, Gianforte said Local Communities have a Spending Problem

“It's local spending that drives property taxes, so I've asked the commission to cast a really broad net. There are only a couple of bright lines for me. Montanans have said they do not want a sales tax, so that's off the table. But within that sandbox, let's figure out how to keep Montanans in their homes and get property taxes down.”

Click here to listen to Wednesday’s Talk Back show.

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