Guest Opinion: Legislative Report

Greetings from Helena!

Our second week of session seemed like a busy week. I presented my first two bills: SB 58, which raised the cap on Block Management from $25,000 to $50,000, and SB 42, which allows an easier path for a right of way through state trust land. Both bills passed out of committee and are headed to the Senate floor this week.

I have three bills that I am working on that might take a little more push. The first bill, LC1348, is to get rid of perpetuity in conservation easements that are financed by state money. The second, LC1349, is to get rid of the disadvantage of prevailing wage that we have in eastern Montana and other areas. The opposition will be big contractors and the unions. Every taxpayer should be in favor of this bill. The third bill, LC1350, is dealing with how we treat absentee ballots in our election process. I would welcome the help of the citizens of SD18 by reading and voicing their support for the bills. I will keep you updated.

We as legislators are working on different issues. Some of the main ones are the projected $2.5 Billion overpayment of taxes by taxpayers (surplus). On this issue there is a big part of the legislators who want to give the money back to those who paid it. There are others that will say “let’s give it to those who need it the most” (socialism). There are still others who want to build government. Currently state government spends over $14 Billion bi-annually which is more than we need or can afford. Another issue, one that pokes us in the eye every time we turn around, is the judicial system. According to our Constitution there are three branches of government, Legislative branch—which is the most powerful because it is closest to you, the people, the administrative branch—which is the Governor who administrates the government and approves all legislation, and the Judicial branch—which interprets the law. The Judicial branch has gotten into the business of writing the law, which is out of their jurisdiction.

We are going to have our Montana Freedom Caucus Kickoff Rally on January 19. We are very excited to have our US Congressman, Matt Rosendale joining us. The Rally will be held in the Old Supreme Court Chambers, Room 303 in the Capital, beginning at 6 p.m. We would be happy to have you join us.

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

For Freedom,

Senator Steve



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