Guest Opinion: Legislative Report

Greetings from Helena!

The Transmittal deadline is coming up fast.  I am going to introduce four more bills this week that need to be heard and hopefully moved through the Senate before Transmittal. There are two bills dealing with FWP, one dealing with DOJ, and one dealing with elections.

The unions were active this week at the capitol. Along with the several lobbyists they have here all the time there were a lot of members walking around, holding signs, and testifying in committees. They were here because of my bill SB276 and HB 448, sponsored by Representative James Bergstrom. My bill made it so it costs the same everywhere in the state to build a public project. The unions want it so they can get paid more in most of the state, especially in our country. HB448 is a Right to Work bill, which allows employees the choice as to if they join a union or not. All of our surrounding states have similar laws and the sky is not falling there. Testimony after testimony talked about how tough things are for workers and yet they want to keep the same system.

There is a bill, HB192, by Representative Mercer to give income tax rebates back to Montana citizens who overpaid their taxes. Representative Welch has HB222 which gives property tax rebates back to those who paid it on their primary residence. We will hear these bills on the Senate floor this week. There will be some debate on these bills because there are legislators who think we need to build more bureaucracy (especially those on the other side of the aisle, but not only them). This will take care of about $750 million of the almost $3 Billion of projected surplus. We still have some work to do.

We were saddened to hear about our close friend, Donna Heinrich, passing away. Donna was a gracious lady, a devoted Republican, and always ready to do the work. We will miss her greatly.

I want to thank the two pages I sponsored this week, Morganne VanDyke, from Glendive, and Kaliahna Lindvold, from Miles City.

If you are ever in Helena, be sure to look us up. If you want to look up the text of a bill you can find it at

For Freedom,

Senator Steve



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