Guest Opinion: Legislative Report
May 12, 2021 | View PDF
Greetings from Home!
This Legislative Session was different than other sessions in a couple different ways. First, there was concern over the Covid virus that originated in China. It was reasonable, at first, to be scared of it because we didn’t know much about it. But, by the time the session started we were pretty familiar with the virus, knowing it didn’t seriously affect very many people who didn’t have an underlying health condition. We understood that it was a lot like the flu. It was amazing to me that the flu was pretty much nonexistent in Montana this past year. The argument was do we wear a mask, should we be 6 feet away from each other, should we be caged in with plexiglass, or should we be there virtually. Most of the people in our caucus chose none of the above. We were there to do the people’s business and these choices would hinder our ability to communicate. Because of our choice, Democrats, bureaucrats, and the media said we were going to be a “super spreader”. There were a handful of people in the Legislature who got Covid, with few symptoms. So, it was far from being a “super spreader”. It was a political tool for a lot of people.
The other thing that was different about this session is that we had a Republican Governor, and the Democrats knew that all the bills we passed were not going to get vetoed. Some things that we accomplished were: passed prolife legislation, passed constitutional carry, lowered taxes by $120 million, secured some of our freedoms during declared emergencies, got rid of some government regulations, and several other things. Overall, I felt we had a good session.
We passed some legislation that we felt would help the courts stick to interpreting the law instead of rewriting the law when making their decisions. However, that didn’t sit very well with the Montana Supreme Court, so they used taxpayer resources to lobby against the legislation they didn’t like. As a result, we, as the Legislature, are in the process of investigating the Judicial Branch.
Several bills I sponsored were passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor. One bill that I sponsored, SJ 16, that is to encourage the US Congress and President to allow the Keystone pipeline to continue, was filed with the Secretary of State and will be sent off. The Keystone Pipeline is very important to Eastern Montana.
It is an honor to represent SD 18. Now that we are home you can contact me at home or by email at [email protected]