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Many difficult decisions to be made at legislature

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Lots of difficult decisions coming up. Each one should be a full column but here’s the short version of four problematic issues:

1. The balance between eminent domain and property rights is not as easy as one would think. For job creation we need regulatory certainly. Does a permit mean go to work or get your lawyers ready?

2. Do we pass the four bills the state auditor wants to implement for the Patient Protection and Affordability Act, known as Obamacare?

No one knows if the Supreme Court will uphold the Florida decision that the federal act is illegal. There are several bills in the legislature that will reduce medical costs for Montanans already.

3. Changing the constitution to have property valued at acquisition cost rather than market value is gong to be very difficult to get through both houses. Area legislators would like this, but need to convince the rest. There is an appraisal every year bill and it has a big price tag. In the fiscal note for this bill is the provision for oblique imaging done every two years by airplane. This airplane will show pictures of new decks, garages or additions. All new construction should be appraised, but I don’t like the plane watching us.

4. I have received more than 600 messages about medical marijuana. Only a few are from my house district. I have my computer spam filter set for medium high and hundreds of the messages are going there. I figured out that if the messages are identical, my mail program thinks they are spam.

We have bills to make the medical marijuana rules stricter, remove the profit motive, limit the number of patients a caregiver can have (one said he has more than 400), and to repeal the entire program. Law enforcement told the committee that Montana is now the “source country” for marijuana.

It is difficult to decide. On the Flathead and the Blackfeet Reservations medical marijuana is still illegal. Maybe we should just vote for all of the options and let the governor veto or sign the ones he wants.

I never forget that I work for the citizens of our area. All of the Flathead legislators appreciate public input, but it has become impossible to answer all the messages.

Leave any of us a message at (406) 444-4800, email me at or check my website

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