The Roundup -

Legislative Report

 

March 20, 2019 | View PDF



Greetings from Helena.

It was good to be home for a few days during transmittal break. We came back to Helena on the 10th and hit the ground running. Things will continue to get busier as we get closer to the end of the 90-day session.

SB 137, a bill I sponsored, “Revise laws related to agriculture use of special fuel” passed through both houses unanimously and is on its way to the Governor. This bill allows agriculture producers to purchase fuel within 50 miles of their home base and pay for it by any means and still qualify for the agriculture fuel tax rebate.

HB 229, a bill that clarifies that fossils are not minerals, passed the Senate Natural Resources Committee and will be on the senate floor this week. It hasn’t had a vote against it so far. This bill is important to Eastern Montana.

The big Medicaid Expansion Bills were heard in the House Human Services Committee Saturday. Representative Caferro (D) has HB 425 which takes the sunset off expansion. This is the exact opposite of how Montana voters voted on I-185 in November. HB 658, carried by Representative Buttrey (R), is a 45-page bill that is a little different than HB 425. These bills are similar in that they allow able bodied Montanans get free healthcare. They both will require various kinds of taxes, including a $70/bed hospital tax for patients and a .875% tax on out-patient services, plus many other hidden taxes. One of these hidden taxes is a tax on Workman’s Comp. The biggest argument of the proponents was that we need to take care of the vulnerable. Before Medicaid Expansion we were taking care of the vulnerable people through Medicaid.

It was good to see several folks from SD18 at the Capitol this past week. I hope you are all enjoying the warmer weather. It looks like spring is right around the corner.

I look forward to hearing from you regarding your questions or concerns. You can contact me by phone 406-989-1372, by e-mail steve.hinebauch@mtleg.gov, or by regular mail Senator Hinebauch Capitol Building PO Box 200500 Helena, Mt 59620-0500.

 

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