Guest Opinion: Legislative Report

Greetings from Helena!

This has been one of the busiest weeks in the Montana State Legislature since I have been here, for two reasons. One reason is that any Senate bills with a fiscal note have to be transferred to the House by Tuesday, April 4. The other reason is that all house bills that need amended have to be through the Senate by April 13. The time for sine die is getting closer.

In Judiciary committee we heard several bills about how to change the path of Child Protective Services. Since Montana has the highest per capita in the nation of children in Child Protective Services we are trying to find some ways to reverse this trend. Senator Lenz, out of Billings, has worked tirelessly on this issue for many years. We heard some bills about how to correct our Judicial system, as we have all year. By most ratings we have the most liberal judicial system in the country. Another bill we heard was HB721 about disallowing dismemberment of living babies during an abortion procedure. We heard testimony about several babies who survived a dismemberment abortion attempt and are living without arms or legs. Pretty barbaric! I am going to carry this bill on the floor soon. It might be a very interesting day.

In Public Health, Welfare, and Safety committee we heard bills about day care and how to make it more accessible and more affordable. We heard bills about health care and how to make it less cumbersome, less regulated, and more affordable.

In Fish and Game committee we hear a lot of concern about access. The one thing I find, as chairman of Fish and Game, to most hunters and outdoor enthusiasts, the only good access is where no one can get there except them. SB58, the first bill that I carried to raise the limit on Block Management, is ready to be signed by the Governor. My animal health pharmacy bill passed out of Senate Agriculture Committee unanimously and I will have it on the Senate floor this week.

The Student Council, from Glendive Washington Middle School, and their sponsor, Donnetta Schaaf, were at the Capitol this week. I was able to spend a little time with them to show them how the process works.

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 Hinebauch


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