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Medical marijuana repeal to appear on 2012 ballot

Lots of interesting bills last week. We passed House Bill 175 to put medical marijuana repeal back on the ballot in 2012 to let you vote. The floor debate seemed to center on which poll numbers reported by the newspapers were important. I voted for this. In the meantime, SB 423 was introduced late last week in the Senate. It will generally revise laws relating to the use of marijuana and is titled “Montana Therapeutic Marijuana Act.“ It calls for couriers, licensure, and regulation by the Public Service Commission. The PSC chair said that they did not want this job. They’d rather focus on utility regulation. We had another referendum for the voters, HB 609, to prohib...


Workers’ Comp reform passes both houses

Disclosure brings transparency – I spoke in favor of Senate bill 284 – disclosure of Legislator’s health benefits. The Senate passed it with only three “no” votes. I’d also like to state that when I became your senator on that exciting day in January, I declined all health...


House votes to put back funding for veterans home

There is a lot to report and I’ll start with the good news. The revenue estimates are up as of March 15. The Legislative Fiscal Division estimate for 2011, 2012 and 2013 has improved by $63.5 million over last December’s numbers. This is not as high as the February projection. A federal change...


Budget balanced, sent on for Senate approval

Happy spring to everyone. Hopefully this means we will start seeing some green in the fields. Here in Helena the House of Representatives voted last Monday on the state budget, HB2. The budget we sent on to the Senate is balanced and contains a 6 percent decrease from the previous sessions. The revenue e...


Bill prohibiting texting and driving bill voted down in Senate

Tort Reform begins – I carried HB 531 which passed in the Senate. It’s the first of seven tort reform bills coming our way from the House. These bills will improve general civil liability parameters to reduce legal defense costs. You’ll quickly grasp its positive effect on the medical profe...


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 b...


Polson police department hiring procedures explained

Here we are only a couple of days before the official first day of spring. How sweet it is. March roared in like a lion, now let’s hope the rest of the axiom plays out. Many times I am asked by interested parties the process we use to hire a police officer. There are several methods, so today we wil...


‘Real Good’ babysitter fondly remembered

I can still see her little red car pulling into our long driveway, see the worn cardboard box covered in stickers she always brought with her and hear the reassuring sound of her grandmotherly voice in greeting. Some people, no matter how long ago you knew them, leave a lasting impression on your heart. G...


SB 58 would enhance DNA preservation

The Montana House of Representatives has before it a bill that, if enacted, will measurably improve our justice system.  Senate Bill 58, co-sponsored by Sen. Lynda Moss (D-Billings) and Sen. Jim Shockley (R-Victor), will have county law enforcement preserve DNA samples on evidence found in certain serio...


Senate passes referendum for annual legislatures

We narrowly avoided invasion… the dreaded quagga mussel would have staked a claim in Flathead Lake had the FWP not intercepted it at Dayton last week. Folks are thanking us for funding Invasive Aquatic Species prevention. This week’s news proves it’s needed. Verdell Jackson’s bill bu...


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