March 27, 2019 | View PDF
Greetings from Helena.
We finished Legislative Day 60 on Saturday. SB 137, my Ag fuel bill, was signed by Governor Bullock on March 21. It will become effective on July 1, 2019.
HB 2, the budget, will probably be heard in the Senate this week. This is always an interesting time because there are those who think we need to spend a lot more of the people’s money, there are those who think we need to spend a little more of the people’s money, and those like me who think we need to spend less of the people’s money. We know the Government doesn’t have their own money to spend, they get it from the people. The House cut $80 Million from the Governor’s projected budget. But I still think the House budget is way too high. My personal debate is do I vote against it, because I think it is too high, or do I vote for it, so it doesn’t get any higher.
We heard 3 bills regarding the harvest of wolves in Fish and Game committee on Thursday--HB 279, HB 281, HB 291. These bills are a concern for hunters and ranchers alike. When they reintroduced wolves into Yellowstone National Park several years ago their goal was to have 300 wolves total in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. Estimates are that there are about 1,000 wolves in each of these three states. There were several opponents to these bills. With 10 times more than they wanted to have, I think we could harvest a few more wolves.
In Judiciary committee we heard HB 284, dealing with assisted suicide, and HB 302, defining that life begins at conception. These were both very emotional bills. The committee will be voting on these bills shortly.
I enjoyed visiting with folks from Eastern Montana again this week. I hope everyone in SD 18 is safe and being careful with all the flooding.
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 Station PO Box 200500 Helena, Mt 59620-0500.