February 6, 2019 | View PDF
Greetings from Helena!
We have finished 20 days of our 90-day session. The three committees I am on are real important committees, but they can be emotional at times. In Fish and Game, we heard a bill (SB70) to remove Headwaters State Park from the primitive list. The bill did not have any opponents. This seemed a little odd to me because most groups that come in to the Fish and Game Committee want to make everything primitive, whether it is a conservation easement, a wilderness study area or a monument. Do they want more land to be primitive or do they have another agenda? Everything in Health and Human Services Committee is emotional, and important, because it deals with people’s lives and DPHS, which takes the biggest chunk of the state budget, over $2 Billion a year. In Judiciary Committee we discussed bills from requiring an ultrasound before an abortion to stiffer penalties for DUIs, both emotional topics.
There is always the urge for government agencies to take more of our money and chip away at our freedoms. The State government has plenty of money, it just needs to be prioritized. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, those who give up freedom for security might lose both.
The State of the State was this past week. The Governor reassured us that he wants to start government funded preschools, continue Medicaid expansion, have a $300 Million ending fund balance (slush fund), and other programs that take money. To cover his want list, he needs to raise taxes $160 Million.
Things seem to be getting busier all the time. We will be seeing more bills come through our committees and onto the floor as we get closer to the transmittal date.
It was good to see US Senator Steve Daines in the Capitol this week. He spoke at the Montana Federation of Republican Women’s Legislative Luncheon and on the House floor.
I always like to see people from my district, which I did again this week. If you are coming please let me know.
I look forward to hearing from you regarding your questions or concerns. You can contact me by phone 406-989-1372, by e-mail [email protected], or by regular mail Senator Hinebauch Capitol Building PO Box 200500 Helena, MT 59620-0500.