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Flathead Legislators work on jobs bills

Flathead area legislators received a letter from Kevin Jump, owner of John Jump Trucking of Kalispell, asking what this session is doing to create good-paying jobs for Montanans.

We are proud of the jobs bills that are progressing this session. We have more work to do, but we expect the bills summarized below to have a positive impact on employment in Montana’s near and far future.

House Bill 334 by Scott Reichner of Bigfork is guaranteed by the non-partisan National Council on Compensation Insurance to reduce the cost of doing business in Montana. Montana businesses have told us directly, “I could hire another person today if my work comp costs went down.” This bill achieves that. Passed the House.

Senate Bill 290 by Ryan Zinke of Kalispell creates jobs by clarifying that an independent contractor is not an employee under the Montana Human Rights Act, thus reducing uncertainty in making contracts. Passed the Senate.

House Bill 419 by Bill Beck of Whitefish lowers insurance premiums by expanding Montana’s special purpose self-insurance pools.

House Bill 187, carried in the Senate by Carmine Mowbray of Polson creates jobs in Montana’s wood products industry by requiring Montana made wood products in road and bridge construction projects where appropriate. Passed both houses.

House Bill 464 by Mark Blasdel of Kalispell raises standards of proof for liability for pediatric and geriatric specialist care.

House Bill 405 by Janna Taylor of Polson reforms malpractice lawsuits for lower costs for Montana’s health care industry, which leads to lower costs for us and more ability for health care businesses to add workers. Passed the House.

Senate Bill 103 by Verdell Jackson of Kalispell exempts “non-consumptive wells” from the permit process, saving time and money. These wells are a major step forward in home and commercial heating and cooling, and have no carbon footprint. Lower utility costs leaves commercial entities more money to hire people. Passed the Senate.

Senate Bill 317 by Chas Vincent of Libby creates jobs in natural resource industries by making it easier for common sense development projects to get through the environmental permitting process. Passed Senate second reading. Senator Vincent’s Senate Bill 312 creates jobs by easing the permit process for small-time mining operations. Passed Senate second reading.

House Bill 550 by Joe Read of Ronan helps Montana's natural resource industries by establishing state authority over federal authority in the regulation of greenhouse gasses. Passed the House.

Senate Bill 117 by Greg Hinkle of Thompson Falls requires the federal government to consult with local governments, including when regulations restrict development of natural resources. Passed the Senate.

Senate Bill 372 by Bruce Tutvedt of Kalispell creates jobs by reducing business equipment tax, leaving more money to hire workers. Passed Senate committee.

House Bill 325 by Keith Regier of Kalispell eliminates business equipment tax, which makes Montana more attractive to employers with large equipment investments.

We hope the progress of these bills indicates that we are heartily carrying out our Republican priority of growing jobs and the economy.

Carmine Mowbray
Senate District 6
Polson

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