Renters? Consider Your Vote Carefully Next Time for the Following:

by jhwygirl

UPDATE: HB188 survived its 3rd reading, garnering a vote of 71-28. It actually gained 3 “nay” votes, while losing one – Rep. Bill Nooney, of Missoula. Good deal, Bill – you did the right thing.

Great Falls Rep. Deborah Kottel, looking out for all those military personnel in her district has proposed HB188 which would allow for double damages for wrongful withholding of security deposits.

Geez, who doesn’t support our armed forces, right?

This bill passed the House Business & Labor Committee with a 14 – 4 vote, and has also survived a 2nd reading in the House (today) with a 74 – 26 vote.

This bill has to survive the 3rd reading – which is tomorrow morning.

You gotta wonder why someone might vote against a bill like this. I mean, it would only apply if a landlord wrongfully withheld a security deposit. There’d have to be a small claims court trial. The landlord would have to be found guilty of holding the deposit unlawfully. So no harm, no foul, right?

No harm, no foul. But the bill does do good by protecting the consumer and putting a strong financial incentive into the lawbooks to prevent this type of unlawful activity – and that is key – keeping a security deposit is currently a violation of the law. HB188 would merely provide stronger incentive to prevent unlawful activity.

So who are the 26 voting against protecting renters? Renters not only like the people in their districts, but renters like those military folk up there in Great Falls?

Well, here in Missoula, we’ve got Bill Nooney

Renters in Dillon, including UM-Western students, aren’t getting any support from Jeffery Welborn.

Apparently the renters and students in MSU Bozeman aren’t of concern to:

Ted Washburn,
Scott Sales, and
Gordon Vance

Then there’s Joel Boniek, of Livingston and Bob Wagner, of Harrison.

What about renters and students in and around MSU-Billings?:

Dennis Himmelberger,
Don Roberts, and
Ken Peterson

In Laurel, there’s Krayton Kerns, and in Huntley there’s Bill Glaser.

Consumer protection in Kalispell – and think about all the jobs lost there, and renters that may have to move? – isn’t an issue, I guess:

Keith Regier, and
Jon Sonju

Then there’s Pat Ingraham, of Thompson Falls, Chas Vincent, of Libby, and Mark Blasdel, of Somers.

Ravalli County and the Bitterroot? No renters there needing protection?

Bob Lake, of Hamilton
Gary MacLaren, of Victor, and
Ron Stoker, of Darby

Near Great Falls, there’s Edward Butcher, of Winifred and
Llew Jones, of Conrad.

Who’s left?

Walter McNutt, of Sidney
Scott Mendenhall, of Clancy
Mike Miller, of Helmville
Wendy Warburton, of Havre

Shame. No harm, no foul – and only an added incentive to prevent activity that is already unlawful.

No excuse, people – no excuse.


  1. one of my most pettiest peeves is rewarding bad behavior. it is about time this country and this state made the crooks pay for their greed…for far too long landlords have held onto deposits because after all “what’s the downside?”
    that they will have to eventually pay it after making the renter jump through all sorts of hoops. huh uh – not good enough. if we penalized bad behavior for all the phone companies who try to get away with fraudulent charges or all the insurance companies who turn down our coverage hoping to get away with it…well, i am getting carried away. penalizing landlords who try to steal our money is a start…

  2. klemz

    You certainly do gotta wonder. It almost makes you want to ask a question… of somebody? But who?

    Samuel L. Jackson? No.

    Fiorello LaGuardia? He’s pretty dead.

    If only we had some names of people to ask why someone would oppose this bill.

    Well, I’m stumped.

  3. got it! i asked the ouji board some hiker left in his pack last summer…they must all be landlords themselves- landlords who wouldn’t mind keeping a little unclaimed loot from unwary renters….yeah that’s it. humans are not too hard to figure out really, once you know who butters whose bread. cornpone begets opinions and such…

  4. That did occur to me, problembear, but this blogging is getting in the way of my work. One could go to the Montana Cadastral (link over there on the right) and hit the “parcel search” tab on the top there, and put in a representative’s last name and county – and one might come up with a whole list of properties which would seem to suggest, quite possibly, that is exactly the case – that some of these votes are based purely on personal interests.

    Now, not all property – especially investment property – is owned by people. Sometimes it’s owned by corporations or businesses….and you could go over to the SoS’s website and search for businesses by putting in the last name of the owner and you might come up with something there too, with which to search the cadastral.

    It’s not perfect – and that method doesn’t always work…but there’s only so many hours in the day for a blogger like me.

    Oh – beware – the cadastral site only works with IE (not Firefox) and you can’t have popups blocked.

  5. i just assumed you had a staff working 24 hours j-girl…

  6. klemz – I don’t know that when it comes down to it, as a voter, I need to be concerned with why my elected official opposes something. It’s more important that they know why I support it or why I don’t.

    Bottom line for me, I guess. Anything else seems a pound foolish.

  7. Soros has yet to discover me, problembear.

  8. klemz

    Anyone ever notice the Big Country and the Quiet Man have exactly the same plot?

  9. Big Country is a far better movie.

  10. I’ve updated this post.

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