Guest Opinion: Rep. Brandon Ler Legislative Update Weeks 3 & 4
February 3, 2021 | View PDF
Hello from Helena!
It is incredible to be a lawmaker in Helena this session-and I use the term “incredible” in both its positive and negative connotations.
On the positive side, the House of Representatives moved five important bills to the Senate in Republican-led votes.
HB 112 provides for the protection of women’s sports, requiring that athletes compete in sports according to their biological gender. There are important biological and physiological differences between men and women, and I stood up and spoke on the floor in support of preserving girls and women’s sports.
HB 136 is the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which prevents abortions after 5 months of pregnancy when the child can feel pain, unless for the safety of the mother. While our end goal should always be to abolish abortion altogether, this is a step in the right direction in recognizing the unborn as alive, and abortion as murder.
HB 140 allows women to be offered the opportunity to view their ultrasound and listen to the fetal heartbeat before having an abortion. Some women have not had this opportunity and regretted their decision leading to psychological trauma.
HB 167 is the Montana Abortion Inducing Drug Risk Protocol Act. It requires in-person visits for prescribing chemical abortion drugs that can currently be sent through the mail.
HB 171 creates a referendum to establish the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. This bill puts to the voters of Montana a referendum declaring that infants born alive during a botched abortion are legal persons entitled to proper medical care.
Unfortunately, House Bill 13 also passed the House in 62 to 37. HB 13 proposed to increase both base and longevity pay for state employees. It is inconceivable to me that anyone should take a pay raise when our economy is suffering as it is, especially when public employees are of the few who were left unscathed by government-mandated shutdowns. I received an overwhelming amount of feedback from Richland County residents asking me to vote against HB13, and I agree with my constituents-Now is not the time to be giving state employees a pay raise. I voted no on all three readings.
I will continue to vote to protect our families and children, our individual liberties, and our livelihood as I promised during my campaign. I look forward to hearing your input and welcome your call at 480-5687, or email at [email protected]