Legislative Report

Sunday, December 9, 2018

It is that time of year again – Thanksgiving, Christmas and then comes the Legislative session.

Looking back on the summer it seemed like it was busy with things on the ranch and legislative duties. I would like to update you on a few things.

We finished our State and Tribal Relations interim committee in September. It was interesting. The tribes want to be sovereign but they want our help so that makes for an interesting situation. I don’t think any of the bills that were a product of that committee are the right answer. Government is not the answer to most problems.

I was fortunate to be one of the three Montana legislators who was asked to participate in the Legislative Energy Horizons Institute. I spent 6 days in Richmond, Wash., in July and four days in Washington, D.C., in November with legislators from all over the US and Canada. We learned about all different kinds of energy. This will be helpful going forward. There was some discussion about how coal fired generators – Colstrip – pollute the air. I told them (Washington State legislators) we could shut them off for a little while and then they wouldn’t think it was so dirty. They didn’t take me up on it. I told them we only live 150 miles from Colstrip and have never smelled it. But, when their forests were burning 1,000 miles away in the summer of 2017 it was hard to breathe. It seems kind of hypocritical to me.

The 2019 Legislative session is scheduled to start Jan. 7 so we will be heading to Helena for four months. The Governor has presented his budget and it looks like, again, that he thinks the only irresponsible person in the tax process is the taxpayer. If they would just pay a little more we could have more programs: $10 Billion is plenty. Medicaid Expansion, pre-school programs, and the list goes on. It could be an interesting session.

It is an honor to represent SD 18 and it would be good to hear from you if you have any questions or concerns. You can contact me by phone, 406-989-1372, or e-mail, steve.hinebauch@mtleg.gov. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

For Freedom,

Steve Hinebauch