Today in Legislative Lunacy (pt. 2)

by jhwygirl

I’m going to give it to the House again today.

In a 57-43 vote on third reading, HB309 passed the House.

HB309 will effectively cut off public access to more than 6,000 public rivers and streams carrying public water across the state. As this commenter put it in the Ravalli Republic – I’ll drop my diversion in the water, and then it’s “get the heck off my property.”

Any legislator that tries to say anything else is either an idiot or a liar. That’s harsh, but I can’t say it any other way. Read the law.

Please note – that was a 57-43 vote – upped from the 55-44 second reading vote. If anyone wants to check out the party break down on that, I’d sure appreciate it.

As an aside, all the committee members have a party ID and the legislative roster shows party ID – why doesn’t the vote tally?

The House eeked out another fretful bill today, HB384 will effectively remove the need to obtain a concealed weapons permit. It will bring concealed weapons into bars and restaurants. It’s another one of those crazy Rep. Krayton Kerns gun bills with Gary Marbut – a gun advocate so loony that even the sheriff and law enforcement organizations..and the NRA, as I hear it, can’t cozy up to him – thrown in as an expert witness.

I watched this bill in hearing – and this was a hearing where Missoula’s Rep. Ellie Boldman Hill shined. That’s because as questions concerning how the bill would effect current law and law enforcement went to Gary Marbut (Montana Shooting Sports Association lobbyist) from the Republican members on the committee…Rep. Hill was smart enough to ask those same questions of actual law enforcement officers.

It was at this hearing, also, that Rep. Krayton Kerns, in closing as sponsor on the bill, tried to mitigate law enforcement opposition to the bill by saying (paraphrase) ‘it’s not that we’re eliminating the concealed weapons permit – you can still go get a permit if you want one…you just won’t have to.’

So hows that for a law that (first of all) made it out of committee and (secondly) passed the House 52-47?

The votes shifted on this bill to from a second reading vote of 59-40.

addendum: A second reading of a bill to abolish medical marijuana passed the House today too. In this case I’m going to say that the GOP is a damned lazy bunch. Rather than fix the thing – and they’ve had years of opportunity to do so, even and the behest of the industry and towns and citizens last session – they’re throwing out an initiative that was approved by 78% of the voters. You might want to call or email your legislators on that one and at least let ’em know how foolish they are.

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  1. Kptrng

    Are you enjoying your cold shower? When the cycle comes around again, will you actually perform, carry out your promises?

    Not very damned likely. Democrats are the problem.

    • Mark, you might actually have a point someday if you would quit accusing people of things they aren’t responsible for and haven’t done. As I’ve told you before very succinctly, the second person voice is not *your* friend. And in truth, your use of it makes you look pretty petty and ignorant.

  2. mr benson

    Nothing but laziness and self indulgence and bigotry in this year’s house majority. I’m convinced they’re going to adopt the stars and bars as the state flag, right after they vote to nullify the two university towns’ extension of equal protection to gays and lesbians.

    Democrats are not the problem this legislature, other than their excess in the last Congress created the firestorm of public reaction that elected the current house majority.

    The pendulum’s swinging about as fast and high between extremes as it can get, with no room for middle ground, common sense, or hard work. When all D’s and all R’s have to reflect the furthest extreme of each philosophy just to get out of a primary, the election system has broken.

    • Kptrng

      That is so lazy! There are not reasonable people trying to negotiate between extremes. The D’s and R’s do not represent any more than a small part of the political spectrum – we have corporate right wing business interests controlling the “mainstream” of each party, with the far-right militarists and racists and Randians on the fringe of the Republican side. There is no “left”, and progressives are sucked into the Democratic Party to prevent their organizing. Unions, what remains of them, are in the Democratic Party and cannot get their phone calls returned.

      The whole of the two-party apparatus rests far to the right of public opinion. In 2006 public opinion said “get out of those wars,” and Democrats ran on that, got elected, and then continued the wars. Though polling on this matter is hush-hush, a large number of voters last year were upset not that Obama reformed health care, but that he didn’t and said he did. They stayed home, and that opened the door for the freaks of the far right. It’s like that on a host of issues.

      So the impetus for change is stymied by the parties, and people have nowhere to go with their frustrations. Sensing public frustration, the opinion managers channel it, this time into Tea Parties, and the whole of the John Birch element was let back into politics. They’ll fizzle, but where do we go after that?

      As shown in Egypt, having no legal path to change can be dangerous. I don’t think that most Americans have that kind of courage, or are sentient enough to organize, but that is what happens when government is not representative of public opinion.

      • The Polish Wolf

        Mark – if you want to make sense, you must change your narrative (or, depending on your composition, re-program yourself) depending on whether it makes sense with the current issue. Many of the most outlandish bills have passed committee or the house on straight party line votes – thus, if we had more Democrats, things would be different! If we had elected more Democrats, schools would receive more equal funding. If we had elected more Democrats, access to medical marijuana wouldn’t be in jeopardy. If we had elected more Democrats there would be no question as to whether you could bring a concealed weapon into a bank or a bar. If we had more Democrats, a woman’s right to abortion and a patient’s right to die would be safe right now.

        But instead, we have people like you, who in order to indulge their need to be superior to everyone else, insist that ‘when you’re as enlightened as me, there’s no difference between the two parties.’. Well, when you’re a teacher, when you’re sick, when you need an abortion, when you don’t want to get shot in a stupid bar fight that should have just been a fistfight, when you’re an angler, there’s a difference, at least on a State level. If the Republican party hasn’t made this painfully clear to you by now I don’t know what can.

  3. Ryan Emmett Morton

    The Senate seems more reasonable than the House. I’ve nearly given up on following bills in the House.

    Anyhoo, Northwesetern Energy is on a fairly vicious fight to secure it’s monopoly status over as many customers as possible and working against bills that could lower rates. I’ve testified on 3 different bills that NWE has written and/or supports… and they’re tough opponents. The committee’s seem to have forgotten the monopoly status and are letting NWE get away with anything.

    Watch out for you power bills come July 1!

  4. Ingemar Johansson

    Do you really think that 70%+ of the voters would vote that way again?

    After the ease of obtaining Rx for pot and clinics within eyesight of public schools?




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