Guest Opinion: Legislative Update
January 27, 2021 | View PDF
Greetings from Helena!
We are starting to see more bills come before the committees and onto the floor. A couple bills we heard in Senate Health and Human Services committee were SB100 and SB108. SB100 deals with the corruption involving welfare benefits. DPHHS has the biggest budget in state government. SB108 takes power away from unelected officials (county health departments) and gives it to elected officials.
In Senate Fish and Game, we heard SB115, which spreads the authority to approve Conservation Easements, and disperse millions of dollars, to five elected officials (the Land Board) instead of just one (the Governor).
One of the longest hearings we have had was on the Convention of States bill that we heard in Senate Judiciary Committee (SJ2). COS deals with Article V of the US Constitution. A lot of people are concerned about how much overreach the Federal Government is trying to have over state governments and its citizens. That sentiment was reflected in this committee hearing.
The new administration in DC while talking about unity wasted no time in trying to change our values in this country. Some of the things that happened on the first day via executive order were: shut down the Keystone Pipeline (which potentially could have been $100 Million in taxes per year for Montana, mostly eastern Montana), opened the door for transgender athletes to compete against the opposite sex (boys against girls), joined Paris Climate Accord (giving India and China a big advantage over America), and many others. I am proud to live in SD 18 where this President got only 17% of the vote. We did not like these values. These are things we must think about as we consider legislation in Helena.
This week’s scare about the “far right” causing problems during the administration change was a farce. However, ANTIFA and BLM from the far left did lots of damage in Portland, Seattle, and other cities in the United States. Many people contacted us concerned about our safety but there were no problems here.
If you are in Helena be sure to stop and see us. If you want to look up the text of a bill you can find it at https.leg.mt.gov.