State Representative Matt Rosendale checked in with his Week 10 Update from the Capitol.
This week numerous people from far southeastern Montana visited with the representative in Helena.
On Tuesday, Rosedale attended a Farm Bureau breakfast with Bill Rehbein from Sidney. Senate Pres. Peterson and Senator Steinbeisser both spoke and many legislators were in attendance. On Wednesday evening he attended an event for the Montana League of Cities and Towns which included a visit with Glendive Mayor Jerry Jimison . Rosendale discussed with Mayor Jimison bills that effect the extensions of utilities, medical marijuana, and the impacts from the array of energy development projects that are proposed. On Friday he saw Glendivian Pat Mischel who told Rosendale he was in Helena “keep us in line” and observe budget debates.
One decision last week that disappointed Rosendale was the failure to include a requirement to force Columbia Falls to bid out their veteran’s home the same way as the facility in Glendive. The savings to the state would have been significant. Rosendale explained that the Glendive Eastern Montana Veteran’s Home under the Glendive Medical Center contract costs the state $67 per patient per day. Columbia Falls with all staff directly paid by the state costs taxpayers $289 per patient per day. Both facilities provide nearly identical services . Rosendale said “This is the best or worst example of how much more efficient the private sector is able to run certain industries. An attempt was made to pass legislation that would require the state to put the Columbia Falls services out to bid. Estimates put savings in the neighborhood of $7 million a year. A successful effort by some self serving individuals was made to spread misinformation about closure and reduction of services at the Columbia Falls facility. This generated so much negative feedback that the House was unable to keep this proposal in the budget. Instead it will be studied for two years and hopefully it can be bid out at that time.”
Rosendale noted that a Joint Resolution this week will go on to the Senate and then if supported by them on to the Governor for a signature. SJ 9 is a Parental Rights Resolution. It recognizes that parental rights are paramount to the family structure and the family structure is the foundation of our society. This resolution request these rights be protected by the U.S. Constitution. This is necessary as there are ongoing efforts by some U.S. officials and individuals in the United Nations and other international organizations to eliminate or minimize parental rights.”
Last week Rosendale also moved his HB 402 forward with a presentation in front of the Senate Natural Resources Committee. That bill proposes to protect sand and gravel operations from zoning regulations which are enacted after they have begun the permit process. Rosendale said he received good feedback and is optimistic that it will move forward. He commented “This type of legislation allows us to develop our resources and create jobs.
Rosendale also noted that modern technology allowed SB 51 to pass, cutting $12,000 from the lottery budget. SB 51 eliminates a lottery requirement for a judge to watch the lottery drawings. When first established, the drawings for the numbers were made by small ping pong type balls similar to a bingo machine. A judge was needed to witness and make sure everything was conducted legitimately. Now, these numbers are selected randomly by electronic means, no more bouncing balls. No more judge needed.
Rosendale noted that debate is scheduled to be completed in the coming week on HB 2, which is the total budget. Tuesday, state representatives will return to regular committee and floor schedules.
If you have questions or concerns about legislative issues, contact Representative Rosendale at 406-444-4800 or email at [email protected]