Guest Opinion: Legislative Report
February 17, 2021 | View PDF
Greetings from Helena!
In Fish and Game committee we confirmed the Governor’s appointment for Director of FWP, Hank Worsech. A couple words that were used by the proponents to describe Mr. Worsech were “integrity” and “fair”. We also confirmed 3 members of the Parks Board: Jody Loomis, Russ Kipp, and Eastern Montana’s own Kathy McLean. These appointees, along with others from different departments, were all approved in the full Senate.
In Health and Human Services Committee, we also considered a Governor nominee as Director of DPHHS, Adam Meier. This department is the biggest department in state government as far as employees and the budget goes. The Republicans on the committee made known to him our concern about the overreach of DPHHS. From all indications his goal is to change the direction of DPHHS.
In Judiciary there were a lot of bills addressing government overreach in light of the events of the past year and the new administration in Washington DC. Most of the sentiment up here is that we, as Montana citizens, are smart enough to know what to do and we don’t need government intervention every time we turn around.
On Wednesday I was Chairman of the Day during the Senate Floor session. There were a couple heavily debated bills that day which made it an interesting day to keep order in the Senate. One of the bills, SB169, was about voter ID. There is a philosophy that if we require voter ID we are being unconstitutional to rural people or native Americans or poor people or whomever. Our Founding Fathers didn’t write the Constitution to favor different ethnic groups or income groups or where people lived. So, if it is unconstitutional for one it is unconstitutional for all. I voted for the bill because voter integrity is at the root of this great country. The other bill, SJ2, was about Article 5 of the US Constitution. Both sides of this debate are sick and tired of the overreach of the Federal Government. I think that is the sentiment of SD18, also.