Archive for March 24th, 2009

by jhwygirl

The Editor at the Button Valley Bugle has two bills that have both had their hearings and are awaiting committee action.

Both bills deal with carbon sequestration – which sounds nice and green, but as The Very Worthy Editor puts forth, really isn’t. Quite an informative post over there on HB338 and SB498.

All in support of the ultimate energy fallacy: Clean Coal.

One question I have – why does Montana want to store Canada’s CO2? Or, better asked: Why doesn’t Canada want to store its own CO2?

You really must read that post over at the Button Valley Bugle.

HB338 is in Senate Energy and Telecommunications, after having passed the House on a 90-9 vote. HB338 expands eminent domain. Wow. Nadine Spencer the secretary – nspencer@mt.gov.

If you look at the 9 who are listed as having voted NO there, you’ll know that I’m finding it very scary to find myself in agreement with that group. But I’ll try to sleep well tonight believing that while we might agree on the outcome, the road we’ve taken has been drastically different.

SB498 is in House Federal Relations, Energy, and Telecommunications, having passed the Senate on a 42-8 vote. Bryce Bennett the secretary – bbennett@mt.gov.

The list of NO bedfellows on this one isn’t as strange – but I’ll note that this probably the first time I’ve found myself in agreement with Sen. Verdell Jackson.

Did I mention these bills could have devastating affects on water quality?

by jhwygirl

Sen. David Wanzenried’s bill – SB236, which would abolish the death penalty in Montana, has its second round of hearings today (Wednesday) at 8 a.m. in House Judiciary.

This one has passed the Senate floor on a 27-23 bipartisan vote.

One person that has spoken in support of this bill is Marietta Jaeger Lane of Three Forks. Marietta is a former resident of Michigan who has now lived in Montana for 9 years. Her seven-year old daughter was abducted in 1973 from the Missouri Headwaters State Park while the family was on a camping trip. For more than a year, Ms. Jaeger Lane was left without answers. She made it known to the press that she wanted to speak to the person that took her precious little girl – and 15 months later, on the anniversary day of her daughter’s disappearance, that person called her, asking “”So what do you want to talk to me about?”

Marietta has testified in support of abolishing the death penalty.

To say the death of any other person would be just retribution is to insult the immeasurable worth of our loved ones who are victims. We can not put a price on their lives.

In my case, my own daughter was such a gift of joy and sweetness and beauty, that to kill someone in her name would have been to violate and profane the goodness of her life; The idea is offensive and repulsive to me.

I first heard those words during debate on the Senate floor. They absolutely moved me. I don’t describe myself as a religious person, but I found myself pondering may things in the days following that hearing – concepts of forgiveness and revenge, life and death, God…right and wrong. I’m not a religious person – I’ve not been inside a church for services in….in more than a decade?

I’ve also heard more than I needed ever to know about the kidnapping of Shasta and Dylan Groene – and Dylan’s subsequent murder at the hands of now-convicted Joseph Duncan III. There’s been other times in my life, too, where certainly I’ve (without reservations) unquestionably supported a death sentence.

But hearing Ms. Lane’s words made me feel, honestly – petty. Small. Ignorant.

The death penalty is something that I’ve wrestled with for decades. I’ve found myself of either side based on moral decision; based on the inequity with which it is overwhelmingly applied with regards to those of lesser means, based on the permanence of such a sentence and the possibility of imposing it falsely; based on a feeling that what that person did was so horrific that they aren’t worthy of living; based on killing the guilty is too easy of a sentence for those that committed the crime (in other words, it’s too easy of a way out); and, yes, based even on the costs to taxpayers.

There is much that can be found about Ms. Marietta Jaeger Lane – here is her testimony given during the 2007 legislature.

…………….

I’ve come to my own personal realization that more death does not bring closure. I’ve experienced situations – thankfully rarely – that have provoked real rage and feelings desirous of revenge. I’ve thankfully not acted upon those feelings, but I’ve also learned that things have a way of coming back around. Revenge, I don’t think, is for our hands. It is best left to something much more capable of passing judgment on that which it created than a mere mortal like me. And beyond those thoughts, I don’t believe that more killing serves justice to those that are killed, and it only prolongs coming to whatever closure is able to be had out of a horrific loss.

Consider contacting the House Judiciary committee to support SB 236 and abolish Montana’s death penalty. Jennifer Eck is the secretary, jeck@mt.gov. If you contact Jennifer, make sure to request that your comments be forwarded and provided to the entire committee.

You can also call the Session Information Desk at 406-444-4800 to leave a message for the entire House Judiciary legislative committee. The TTY (Telephone Device for the Deaf) number is 406-444-4462.

by jhwygirl

This post covers the scheduled committee hearings (my picks) for just Thursday and Friday. Click this to see them all.

On Thursday we have one that sounds like a good idea, but in reality, it’s pretty crappy. HB675, proposed by Rep. Brady Wiseman, would eliminate the statewide school mill tax and utilize an education trust fund funded by energy development. This bill is made to sound even better because it would abolish oil and gas production tax holidays. All of this is a bad idea because if this bill is passed, there will be a huge push for energy production all in the name of education. MEPA will fly out the window – as we are currently seeing now in the legislature – but this time, it will be backed with the lovely smiling faces of school children. Need a new school? New computers? Guess we gotta drill under the Yellowstone River. Now – that river drilling might certainly be an exaggeration – but you do get my point, no? Contact the House Taxation committee and tell them NO WAY. Jennifer O’Loughlin the secretary – joloughlin@mt.gov

Sen. Dan McGee has SB406 – which has passed out of the Senate on a 26-24 vote – would submit to the voters an amendment to the Montana Constitution to define a person as a human being at all stages of human development of life, including the state of fertilization or conception, regardless of age, health, level of functioning, or condition of dependency. Yeah – Sen. McGee and the rest of the state needs to stay out of women’s vaginas. Say NO to this one, too – in House Judiciary – Jennifer Eck the secretary – jeck@mt.gov.

Here’s one that has a huge negative impact on local government authority. SB310, from Sen. Jim Shockley would prohibit the use of waiver of right to protest SID and RSID’s as conditions on subdivision approval. In other words – this bill wants developers to put the burden of their infrastructure on the neighbors who didn’t have any enjoyment in the profit said developer got out of said subdivision approval. Either that or subdivisions are going to get mighty expensive as cities and counties determine the depreciated value of their infrastructure, and require buy-in’s by developers to pay for their fair share of costs impacts. See that Sen. Shockley? I’ve already figured out a way to get around what you are trying to do….This is in House Local Government – Katie Butcher the secretary – kbutcher@mt.gov.

…well – that’s about all of interest to me and in need of NO WAY’s….make sure, like I said, to view the entire schedule for both days.

If you can’t get to email, always remember that you can call the Session Information Desk at 406-444-4800 to leave a message for the entire legislative committee in one call. Just make sure to have the bill number and the appropriate committee. Your message will be delivered directly to the legislators. The TTY (Telephone Device for the Deaf) number is 406-444-4462.

Keep on keeping on…..

by jhwygirl

SB337 has already had its hearing in the House Fish, Wildlife and Parks committee last week, on the 19th. What it has not had is an executive action.

This bill has also already passed the Senate on a 31-19 vote.

This is an absolutely horribly unreasonable piece of legislation that would prevent the transfer of quarantined, disease-free buffalo – currently in pens near Gardiner, Montana – to any place in Montana other than the tiny National Bison Range located within the boundaries of the Flathead Reservation.

SB 337 needs to die in committee. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks opposes SB 337, saying that if it becomes law, the quarantined, disease-fee buffalo “will likely be slaughtered.”

SB 337 is based on a load of unfounded crap – sorry there Sen. John Brendan. Bison have not been the culprit of Montana’s loss in status as brucellosis-free….and that is something I’ve been saying for years and getting slammed (at least not that long ago) by people who have ignored and continue to ignore the overwhelming evidence that elk are the problem.hal

SB 337 disrespects the tribes. Montana’s American Indian tribes on the eastern side of the state have attempted to – for 4 years now – relocate these animals to reservations throughout the state, only to be stopped because of unreasonable and unfounded fears. This has got to stop.

Until – and honestly, I don’t imagine how it is going to happen – elk are eliminated from co-mingling with livestock herds around brucellosis-central (that being Yellowstone National Park), brucellosis is going to be a threat. Until the Feds quit feeding elk down there in Jackson Wyoming on the National Elk Refuge and the adjacent National Forests, brucellosis is going to be a threat. Until the State of Wyoming quits feeding elk in its own feedgrounds, brucellosis is going to be an issue.

See what I’m saying? Feed elk and you breed brucellosis. Breed brucellosis in Wyoming, and you cause brucellosis to perpetuate itself anywhere those elk travel.

Please take a moment tomorrow to call the legislative information desk – soon, because as I mentioned, this unreasonable bill really needs to just die a death in committee, and having had it’s hearing last week, executive action is pending any day now. The lines open at 7:30. The number is 406-444-4800, and all you have to do is leave a message for the House Fish, Wildlife & Parks committee, for SB 337, telling the committee to please vote NO.




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