Guest Opinion: Legislative Report
January 11, 2023 | View PDF
Greetings from Helena!
We are back in Helena for the 68th Legislative session and Freedom is still the foundation I stand on as we talk legislation, write legislation, and vote on legislation. I am reminded of the quote by Benjamin Franklin “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” I have found over the years in Helena that not everyone pays attention to this quote.
Going along with this idea, there is a Freedom Caucus in the United States Congress that is branching out to legislatures in many states including Montana. I am proud to have been selected as one of the founding members of the Montana Freedom Caucus.
This session I was elected to the Committee on Committees, which is a committee of 6 Senators, who picks the committee members. I was also elected Majority Whip, which allows me to be in leadership meetings, including meetings with the Governor. I am on the same committees as my previous years—Judiciary, Public Health and Human Services, and Fish and Game of which again I am chairman—and also on the Senate Ethics Committee.
Some of the main things I, and many other legislators are going to be focusing on this session are dealing with the Justice System, which is out of control, giving the surplus money back to the taxpayers who paid, election integrity, and make government less cumbersome and more efficient. Being the 1st week, we haven’t heard very many bills yet. We will start hearing more in the coming days.
Many of you have contacted me regarding the election of the Majority Leader in the US Congress. I have been in communication with Congressman Rosendale throughout this process and have always encouraged him to be strong for us, his constituents. We all know of the corruption within the US Congress the last few years with the former speaker. The rules were such that bills could be passed, by a few Republicans and Democrats, without the majority of the body knowing what was going on or being able to vote on the bills. Our congressman, who we can all be very proud of, was furious because he wanted to represent us with debate and votes, which was not allowed. When it looked like the Republicans were going to be the majority in congress, and be in charge, there were a few members, including our congressman, who went to Representative McCarthy, the expected next Speaker, and said they wanted the rules changed back to be how the founders intended them. Negotiations didn’t go very well until there were a few no votes. By vote 15 it was much easier to negotiate. It just took 5 days, and the conviction of a handful of freedom fighters to move Congress in the right direction. The major news media called it chaos, but we call it victory. We owe a lot to Congressman Rosendale.
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.