Greetings from Helena!
We are well aware of the power outages in Eastern Montana and it has been the subject of discussion around the legislature. Almost every source of power had trouble during the ice storm in the south. Wind-, solar-, nuclear- and gas-powered generators all had problems. We know that hydropower’s weakest season is the winter when water is not running as fast. The good old standby, safest, and most reliable power generator is coal.
Yet between the bean counters and the environmentalists they have convinced the right people that we should shut it down. In my opinion, the bean counters and the environmentalists are both wrong. But, even if they weren’t, being reliable is awful important for the lives and productivity of people. Let’s keep the pressure on.
In Fish and Game Committee we talked about some wolf trapping and snaring bills. They range from using snares on wolves to making the trapping season longer. There are about 1200 wolves in the state of Montana, far above the target of 250 that was set when we introduced them to this country. So, we should get more aggressive on controlling the population of wolves. Another thing we did was reject one of Governor Bullock’s appointees to the Fish and Game Commission who was appointed on the 25th of November 2020. There are different philosophies between the former governor and our present governor. This action seemed to draw a lot of news and interest. But that is part of the process.
In Health and Human Services Committee, we heard several bills, one of them, SB245, that would allow doctors and other healthcare workers to let their conscience be their guide in performing certain non-life-threatening services. We passed out of committee SB100 which would deal with fraud in DPHHS.
In Judiciary, we heard several bills about limiting the power of the governor in emergency situations. These bills dealt with the loss of religious freedom, the loss of constitutional rights, and how long a state of emergency could go on. One bill also eliminated the possibility of having an all-mail in ballot for state and federal elections.
I am sure you are aware that the mask mandate has been lifted and we can now carry concealed weapons almost everywhere in the state without a permit. I think this is good news for Montana.
Reagan Hall from Sidney was my page this week. She did a great job and we enjoyed having her work in the Senate.
If you are in Helena be sure to stop and see us. If you want to look up the text of a bill you can find it at https.leg.mt.gov.
Senator Steve Hinebauch