Guest Opinion: Legislative Report
March 31, 2021 | View PDF
Greetings from Helena!
This week in Fish and Game committee I presented SR88 which was a Senate resolution to appoint four commissioners to the Montana Fish and Game. I am excited about the diversity that we have with these four commissioners. These four nominees represent industry, landowners, agriculture, outfitting, recreationists, hunters, and fishermen. Some of the fake hunting groups, supported by out of state and out of country billionaires, came in opposition to SR88. We also heard SB382 and SB384, which addressed Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) fees. Just like always, “This is a good program but who should pay for it?”. Some hydroelectric dams pay 45% of the $6 million a year for the program to prevent AIS. They think that is a little lopsided.
In Public Health committee there were several bills dealing with Child Protective Services (CPS). The general consensus in the Legislature is that CPS needs to be more customer friendly to families and children. This is a tough issue, but the needs of families and children need to be considered ahead of rules and regulations.
We heard HB501 in Judiciary committee. This bill, in laymen’s terms, says you can go into a public place which receives taxpayer funding without proof of vaccination or a mask. HB501 is an example of several bills we have heard in Judiciary this session. People who testified talked about the inconsistency and illogical rules because of the China Virus.
On the Senate floor we passed HB543, HB43 and HB336. These bills are all from eastern Montana representatives that we can be proud of. Representative Bob Phalen, HD36, and his bill, HB543 requires that the Pledge of Allegiance be recited every school day, in every public school and that instruction on the US Constitution be taught in grades 3 through 12. HB43, sponsored by Representative Rhonda Knudsen, HD34, expands the practice of telehealth so Montanans in rural areas, or have mobility issues, have more options. HB336, sponsored by Representative Brandon Ler, HD35, makes it possible for producers to trade processed meat with willing states.
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.