Pace of Legislature continues to pick up

Sen. Kenneth Bogner
Thursday, February 7, 2019

The pace of the Montana Legislature continues to pick up as we are more than half way to the March 2 transmittal deadline for non-revenue bills. The transmittal deadline is the cut-off for House bills to make it over to the Senate and vice versa. There are currently over five hundred bills going through the system.

The student safety bills that would protect K-12 students from predators as well as adjust the statute of limitation for child sexual abuse crimes will likely be heard on their respective floors in the next week. House Bill 148, which would require two-thirds of the legislature to enact a new/increase in tax or fee, was recently sent over to the Senate and will get much debate. Finally, we wrapped up the month with a hearing on SB 71. Senate Bill 71 is a bill introduced by the Insurance Commissioner that will lower prescription drug prices; it is a priority for Senate Republicans as we have been focusing on lowering healthcare costs.

This past week we also heard the governor deliver the State of the State address. The governor proposed more than $160 million in tax increases, keeping Medicaid Expansion in its current form, and making infrastructure funding a partisan issue.

As we move into February, my colleagues and I have been working with the House to fix the unsustainable programs, keep more dollars in Montanans’ pockets, and come up with common sense solutions to Montana’s needs.

( Kenneth Bogner of Miles City represents Senate District 19 in the Montana Legislature.)