Archive for March 12th, 2009

by jhwygirl

HB455 was stalled in committee today on a party-line, 9-9 vote.

Probably dead – a tied vote is usually a death knell. But hey – let’s all debate whether guarana is a stimulant!

Blogged about here, here, and here. Probably elsewhere, too.

There wasn’t one Republican willing to at least give this a fair shake on the floor? Rep. Michael More, of Gallatin Gateway? Rep. Gordon Vance, of Bozeman? Rep. Scott Reichner, of Bigfork?

All areas that depend on tourism. And their water.

What would Montana be without its rivers and lakes and streams?

Who wins and who loses with the death of this bill? Amazing how the interests of so few can drive what affects us all.

by jhwygirl

SB438, sponsored by Sen. Carol Juneau of Browning, is a bill that would regulate the sale of alcoholic energy drinks. Believe it or not, there are alcoholic malt beverage energy drinks out there that pass under current regulation because they contain less than 7% alcohol that is typically found in beer.

Everyone knows alcohol is bad for kids – and having these kinds of beverages unregulated isn’t a very good thing at all. Sen. Browning – and virtually all of the State Senate think that this bill is a good thing. This bill even passed out of the Senate Committee 9-2….

But here SB438 comes to the State House today – where, as Rep. Art Noonan said (I’m paraphrasing from memory) “everyone here seems to get suspicious.” To be clear, he said this in regards to another bill, but nonetheless….

What Rep. Art Noonan was trying to say, in other words: In the House, things can go whack.

2nd reading on this bill was delayed because Rep. Bill Beck has to add an amendment. He didn’t get it to where it was supposed to be – but from the sounds of things, it was pretty important. The hearing was “passed for consideration” (delayed) because of Beck’s so-important amendment.

What was it? I have to say, I was curious, given the overwhelming non-partisan support in the Senate.

So I head to the legislative website tonight…

What was it? An amendment to strike the following words which set forth the intent behind the word “stimulants” in the legislation: “including but not limited to guarana, ginseng, and taurine.”

His amendment also wants to add, in its place: “as defined by the department by rule based on conclusive scientific findings.”

So what is that about? How frickin’ petty and petulant can one be? What purpose, pray-tell, does it serve to have the Department of Revenue or whatever agency is going to be in charge of this to have to go through rule making after having a scientific study done to determine that additives like guarana, ginseng and taurine are stimulants?

You really gotta wonder what lobbyist got to Beck to push him to request such an amendment.

This is the kind of ridiculous stuff you see or hear if you bother to go to live feed during the day. Honestly – it’d be entertaining if it weren’t so damned foolish and exemplary of the tremendous amount of waste that it represents.

It’s the kind of stuff that can send one into a rant…

Beck delayed a bill today for an utterly ridiculous – and frankly, an addition that advocates for more bureaucracy – amendment. He added 15 minutes to that meeting, which is 15 minutes he took from something else. Further – he’s going to take up Lord knows how much time with debate tomorrow to have that amendment read, to make is case, and to have others discuss the thing.

Rep. Bill Beck is a Republican from Whitefish. I call on any – some – reasonable Republican to take Beck aside before floor debate tomorrow and tell him to quit wasting other people’s time with petty amendments and vote for a bill that has been shown to be good on its own merits.

For crying out loud.

by jhwygirl

A reminder to all you folks out there that HB418, the proposed law that would authorize “investor-owned equine slaughter or processing facilities” is set for hearing today at 3 p.m.

You can read more about this vile piece of legislation here at 4&20 or here at Left in the West or here at Will Work For Fish. And in those posts are other informative links that give even more information.

If you haven’t called or emailed yet, please take the 2 minutes necessary to do so and let the entire Senate Agricultural Committee know – in one easy, quick phone call – that this legislation isn’t something that we want here in Montana. You can do that by calling the Session Information Desk at 406-444-4800. Your message will be delivered directly to the entire committee. The TTY (Telephone Device for the Deaf) number is 406-444-4462.

Know that there are lobbyists up there – rumor has it Conrad Burns is chief cheerleader behind this whole sordid fiasco, and may even make an appearance today – lobbying away for this bill for outside corporate interests which include facilities in Canada and breeders who need somewhere to dispose of their “mistakes”. Burns has, in fact, had his heels dug in to promoting these facilities going back to 2004 when he slipped a clause into an appropriations bill that legalized the slaughter of wild horses on BLM grounds, and allowed the product to be shipped overseas. Now, all he wants is more facilities to do so.

And don’t you bet that isn’t true – otherwise, why do you think this bill is geared towards “investor-owned” facilities? Who else, frankly, would afford the old Senator Burns lobbying fees?

Somehow, I’m doubting Conrad’ll have the you-know-whats to show up backing this bill in person. I’m guessing he’ll probably send a friend.

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