Archive for January 14th, 2009


by problembear

when you are shooting uphill, it is important to aim high if you want to hit your target. pat williams wrote a fine piece on someone i admire last year on the 30th anniversary of his death. all this talk of change by the politicians leaves me a little hungry for leadership….just something to keep in mind as the politicos jockey for position in Helena and Washington DC. i am hopeful that someone will step up to fill Lee’s shoes this year- very optimistic about a certain mr john tester, who has shown some of Lee’s courage and foresight in looking out for the real working people of this state. let us all help our representatives aim high this year by calling and writing them so that they always remember who they are working for…

by jhwygirl

For Monday – Wednesday, check out Part I.

This post includes Thursday and Friday’s schedule.

I’d like to note, those who are reading this, that if you are going to submit public comment using the staffers email address I’m providing, please be clear in noting that you are submitting public comment, and request that it be provided to all committee members.

The House has several committee hearings that are of interest on Thursday:

Representative Deborah Kottel, of Great Falls, has two bills in the House Judiciary Committee that would be of interest to many here in Missoula. HB188 and HB189 both provide for better protections in interactions between tenants and landlords. HB188 increases the maximum penalty for disputes regarding unlawful witholding of security deposits. HB189 requires the landlord to provide a written copy of the rental agreement upon request and – I know this is an issue here in Missoula – obligates the landlord to ensure that the rental unit has the ability to be heated to a minimum of 70 degrees. David Niss is the staffer for the House Judiciary Committee – and his email is

Another one geared towards consumer protection is Representative Shannon Augare’s HB159, which requires insurers of property and casualty property to submit actuarial opinion summaries (which would be available for consumer review), along with supporting documentation. Insurers insure based not only on risk assessment, but investments. Actuarial information is the information showing their financial health – or ability to financially handle the risk they’ve taken. This is in House Business & Labor, Bart Campbell the staffer:

HB202, proposed by Representative Mike Miller of Helmville, would give a tax credit for premiums paid for long-term care insurance. That’s in the Taxation Committee – Jeff Martin, staffer,

On Friday, Missoula’s Representative Robin Hamilton has HB195 up for hearing in the House Business & Labor Committee. It allows for unsuccessful lottery applicants to be given preference in future lotteries. This one is in Business & Labor, too – Bart Campbell the staffer:

Representative Julie French is looking for support of HB29, which would increase funding for senior and disabled transportation. We like Julie – she’s a get-‘er-done woman, especially when it comes to healthcare and veteran’s issues. This one is in Human Services, where Sue O’Connell is the staffer:

In the Senate, on Friday, we’ve got Senator David Wanzenried requesting a study of the state’s student loan system with SJ9. Wanzenried has sponsored this bill out of concerns with availability of guaranteed student loan funds for Montana’s students due to failures in the U.S. financial systems. If approved, the bill would result in a report being presented to the next legislature. This one is in the Education and Cultural Resources committee – Casey Barrs the staffer,

Again – if there’s something that interests you or one that you feel deserves notice or discussion, feel free to bring it to our attention.

by jhwygirl

HB88 – which we blogged about here – was met with 15 opponents at Tuesday’s hearing, and not one supporter.

Feeling lonely Representative Ted Washburn?

Washburn, citing his reasons for proposing the legislation, cited the benefit to county clerk and recorder “allow clerk and recorders to go back and run elections.” As the Billings Gazette reports, not one clerk and recorder showed up to testify in support of the bill.

Washburn also cited past corruption of the same-day registration process – yet, as Secretary of State Linda McCulloch noted, there are no reports of corruption of the 2008 election.


How’s about this?:

Carroll College student Kevin Olp said he showed up to vote in Helena on Election Day and learned he wasn’t registered to vote here. He is from Billings, spent part of last year on a U.S. Senate internship in Washington and attended college in Helena.

He said he went to the Lewis and Clark County election office and registered on Election Day.

“I saw people of all different ages,” he said. “I think it’s a misrepresentation that it’s just a bunch of students that want till the last minute.”

The committee did not vote on this bill. For information on contact for public comment, please see this post.

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