2009 Legislative Session: Week 11 (Part II)

by jhwygirl

Just Thursday and Friday here, folks. For a complete list of committee hearings, check this out.

On Thursday, in Senate Fish & Game, is HB190, which is Rep. Kendall Van Dyke’s bridge access bill. The surviving bill which has a pretty large showdown not only in committee, but on the House floor. HB190 was blogged several times here. Time to send a second round of support for this bill into the Senate committee – Lindsey Hern is the secretary – lhern@mt.gov

Sen. Bob Story has SB507 which would allow for the issuance of “easements, leases and licenses” on the beds of navigable rivers, for water appropriators. While this one is for current users, there is no MEPA requirement. Ugh. Further, doesn’t look like there is any concern about ensuring public access across the streambed. Some of these structures block entire channels. Think Tucker Headgate on the Mitchell. Think any one of a half-dozen or so large overflow dams on the Bitterroot, the Blackfoot and the Clark Fork (and hey – that’s just around here). What about endangered fish species? Bull trout? This state is significantly funding those efforts and we’re going to permanently grant easements for these things? This is in Senate Taxation (Senate Taxation? Really?) Debra Polhemus the secretary – dpolhemus@mt.gov.

Now to Friday: Remember Sen. Shockley’s Protect-the-Protester bill? SB497 has been amended quite a bit and has now passed through the Senate. Honestly, the ridiculous things that time gets wasted on up there. Read the amended version. We need a law to say that people are allowed to protest demonstrate? And we need a law to protect protesters demonstrators? Let’s just kill this thing in House Judiciary, shall we? Let them get the real work done of budget and approving the Governor’s appointees?/snark Jennifer Eck the secretary – jeck@mt.gov.

Sen. Keith Bales wants to expand types of elections that may be conducted by mail ballot election. SB394 has made it out of the Senate and is now in the House. Mail in elections save taxpayers money. Save local governments money. Help this one along, people. In House State Administration – Marshall McEwen the secretary – mmcewen@mt.gov.

Sen. Ron Erickson has SB326 out of the Senate and now in the House. It would revise medical marijuana laws by allowing licensed caregivers to grow and provide the stuff registered patients. In House Human Services, Santella Baglivo the secretary – sbaglivo@mt.gov.

Rep. Carolyn Pease-Lopez has HB591 which would require an American Indian member on the Board of Parole and Pardons. This has made it out of the House with decent bipartisan support. Montana’s Constitution requires equal representation on boards and committees – yet the current Board of Parole and Pardons has no American Indian. Via Left in the West, Jay points us award-winning American Indian journalist Jodi Rave’s report on the disproportionate share of American Indians in Montana prisons and the ugly system it produces. Montana Human Rights Network member and lobbyist Jamee Greer writes, too, about why having an American Indian member on the Board of Parole and Pardons in important. Make sure this one gets some support. In Senate Judiciary – Pam Schindler the secretary – pschindler@mt.gov.

Rep. JP Pomnichowski has HB156, which would provide for uniform penalties for zoning violations. This one could use the extra insurance of public support, people – since it is now in Senate Local Government. Try and give this one some support – Debra Polhemus the secretary – dpolhemus@mt.gov.

I got to this late, I know. Please, if you can, get a call out to the committees for the above-mentioned Thursday hearings? The Session Information Desk phone lines open at 7:30 – 406-444-4800 to leave a message for an entire legislative committee. Your message will be delivered directly to the legislators. The TTY (Telephone Device for the Deaf) number is 406-444-4462.

If using the email addresses above, make sure to mention both the bill number and to request that your email be forwarded to the committee members.

Keep on keeping on….

  1. goof houlihan

    Thanks for you support of mail ballot elections. You can still go vote in person at the Court House. Hopefully, too, local governments will spring for those things that you put on snail mail..er…uh…oh yeah! Stamps.

    SASE; so last century but yet still a good idea for mail ballot elections.

    Bozeman legislators have two bills recently introduced, one to use stimulus funds for cleanup of the explosion, and one to allow Tax Increment Finance Districts to reduce the “base amount” by the amount of “base value” that disappeared with the explosion, or any officially declared disaster. Local governments with TIFDs should get on board with the latter.

    It used to be that TIFD’s base could be adjusted and it was the increment (that backed bonds and represented new investment) could be protected. MDOR thought that was a bad idea and got that option removed. Now that the implications for bonds backed by the Bozeman Downtown TIFD are obvious, maybe we can knock back the Helena bureaucracy a snitchel and score one for economic development and downtown vitality!

  1. 1 Important Floor Votes Tomorrow « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] SB507 is also on the Senate floor for 2nd reading, and boy is this one speeding along. The bill itself was only available to the public less than two weeks ago. I wrote about it here. […]

  2. 2 Legislative Session: Week 14 (Part I) « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] brings SB507, regarding the use of the state’s riverbeds. I didn’t like this before, I dislike it even more now that its way out of the Senate. Anything sanctioning obstructions to […]

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