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Legislature stayed busy during session

As I pressed the green “Yes” button, voting to adjourn for good Thursday night, I thought of the volume of bills that had come up for a red or a green vote during the last three months. This session 1,179 bills were introduced. As of this writing, 277 have made it into law. About 600 were either tabled or missed the deadline. There are a couple hundred more awaiting Governor’s final action. I should be able to give further information on those bills next week. We cut government spending – we were tasked with balancing a budget that was heading for a $300 million deficit. You can imagine the hard choices and unpopular decisions that had to be made. Inflationary inc...

Ronan Chamber has been busy in 2011

Your Ronan Area Chamber of Commerce has been busy in 2011. The year started out with a bang when we presented Bud Cheff Sr. the lifetime achievement award at the annual chamber banquet in February. Bud delighted the crowd with stories from his youth and I think most who attended wished he would have gone on ...

Time to see which legislation will become law

The 62nd session has drawn to a close and it will still be a couple of weeks before we know completely what legislation has made it through and what didn't. A lot of bills that made it through the session haven't been signed yet. The main things that happened are that the budget was reduced by over six p...

Local representatives to field questions at Trades Fair

Hope you had a great Easter. I enjoyed the time with my three-year-old granddaughter. It’s good to be with family and friends, especially since I was disappointed that we were not finished in Helena before Easter. I was too optimistic last week, hoping we’d be finished that early. We will stil...

Eminent domain decision difficult

Perhaps you recall the Old Testament story in which two women approached Solomon with one baby, each claiming the baby to be hers. Solomon suggested he draw a sword with which to split the baby in two, knowing the natural mother would forfeit the baby to the other to save its life. I hope you will indulge...

Legislators to work on budget amendments

Last week was a short one in Helena as we recessed on Wednesday. The budget was put into the Governor’s hands and he had until this past Saturday to veto, amendatory veto or accept it. The Speaker of the House, the Senate President and the Governor did come to some agreements last Friday. There will be...

Many good laws vetoed by governor

After a marathon Wednesday last week we were given a few days off while the budget was delivered to the governor. The clock starts ticking as he has ten days to sign or veto it. The negotiations for an agreement between the branches of government began. The legislature sent a structurally balanced budget wit...

Legislative session winding down

As you probably know, I write this column several days before the paper goes to print. I am hoping that when you read this, we are finished or nearly finished. It depends on whether or not the Governor vetoes, amends or line item vetoes HB2. Usually the budget bill goes to the Governor and we leave. He ha...

Governor’s veto branding disregards hard work

By now you’ve seen or heard of last week’s veto “branding” on Montana’s Capitol steps. I stood with several other Republican legislators in an upstairs window and watched the whole spectacle. None of us wanted to add to the crowd. We didn’t want to appear on television wit...

Future surplus taxes should be returned to taxpayers

Jobs and the economy: Will what is happening in Libya affect Montana’s economy? The increase in the price of a barrel of oil improves the state tax coffers, but each of us will pay more at the pump. And I’ve been watching the federal budget fiasco. What will happen to the money we get from them? ...

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