We’ve just entered Week 3 of the 2023 Legislative Session, and boy has it been eventful. Republicans have floated a number of bad bills, many of which have already been abandoned due to public backlash. Although attacks on Indigenous sovereignty and medical privacy have grabbed headlines, there are GOOD things happening too.
Let’s take a look at a few bills that will help Montanans.
Senator MaryAnn Dunwell (D- SD42) and Jonathan Karfen (D-HD96) have drafted HB 252 which seeks to increase access to mental health services for Montana youth. Increasing mental health access is literally a matter of life or death. Montana has the 3rd highest suicide rate in the nation. Bills like this one can help protect our kids and keep them alive.
Dunwell has been busy and is already facing significant pushback from shady Republicans.Republicans killed her floor amendment to increase legislative transparency.The proposed amendment would have required legal review notes be attached to each bill. These notes are important because when the Leg passes laws that are unconstitutional or otherwise illegal, Montana taxpayers foot the bill. Last session Rs passed several laws that they knew wouldn’t hold up to judicial scrutiny and ultimately lost in court. Preventing access to these legal notes is an indication that they plan to waste our time and money this time around too.
Kelly Kortum (D- HD65) introduced HB201 to raise the minimum wage, combatting the inflation that has brought many Montanans closer to poverty. Kortum also introduced a bill draft that would protect renters. The bill would require rental application fees be refunded for applicants who aren’t selected for the rental unit. In another shady Republican move, this bill has been sent to the wrong committee- the Judiciary committee- where it is clear that Rs intend to kill it.
Representative S.J. Howell (D-HD95) introduced their bill to increase access to childcare. HD 238 supports the Best Beginnings program, a vital resource for working families in need of daycare.
So let’s round that up. We’ve got Democrats fighting for working Montanans who deserve a living wage, protecting kids through access to mental health services, helping parents access childcare, and assuring our government is following the law.
Now let’s contrast for a moment, shall we?
So far Montana Republicans have:
Gained national attention for their incredibly racist plan to destroy Indigenous Sovereignty. Read more here: https://wtf406.com/2023/01/republicans-attack-indigenous-rights/
And here: https://www.newsweek.com/montana-republican-state-lawmaker-keith-regier-indian-reservation-system-1771708
Branched off in what can best be described as a schism between the regular terrible Republicans and the especially awful extremists.
Read more here: https://wtf406.com/2023/01/breaking-news-great-falls-representative-steven-galloway-joins-the-circus/
Attempted to violate our right to medical privacy and attempted to kill poor women.
Read more here: https://wtf406.com/2023/01/republicans-push-for-extreme-privacy-violations/
And here: https://wtf406.com/2022/12/republicans-attack-abortion-rights-for-poorest-montanans/
Much like with Kortum’s bill, they’ve intentionally sent bills they don’t like to the wrong committees. Ethics, who needs em, right?
Read more here: https://wtf406.com/2023/01/in-my-opinion-republicans-skirt-rules-in-attack-on-unions/
This is only a small slice of the action so far. What is abundantly clear is that Democrats are pursuing issues important to Montanans. Republicans are pursuing an extremist agenda that diminishes our freedoms and wastes our tax dollars. You get what you vote for.