The Montana State Legislature meets in regular session for no more than 90 days in odd numbered years. There are possibilities for special sessions to be called to handle other business, but the most common way for the Legislature to attempt to accomplish things when they are not in regular session is through
militia director meetings gold exchanges interim committees.
Membership on these committees is normally four members of each body, with the possibility of adding more should they be needed. It’s typically an even 50/50 split of majority and minority party members, because there needs to be a balance of experience, political leanings, and eye-rolling responsibility.
However, Sen. Ed Walker apparently thinks that things may be a little too “fair and balanced” these days. It’s not clear if he’s just making oh-so-many GOP friends through email that he wants more hang out time, or what, but he’s introduced SB 358.
SB 358 seeks to change the appointment of members of interim committees and the legislative council from two of each to three of the majority and one of the minority. Which would mean that out of both chambers the Montana GOP would get to appoint more of their members to committees that exist to study problems facing the state and inform the rest of the body how to address them.
Perhaps the kicker of it all was that this bill was heard in the Senate Public Health, Welfare, and Safety Committee.
It appears that the GOP doesn’t know that those words do not, in fact, mean what they think they mean, so let’s review what the Montana GOP believes these three things mean as demonstrated by recent activity:
Public Health - Comprehensive sex education that is proven to prevent STIs and pregnancies in student populations is harmful and dangerous. It should never happen.
Welfare - All of our public safety officials are unqualified and should never be allowed to tell us if our on-fire house is dangerous. As property owners that is our call to make, thank you very much.
Safety - The LGBT men and women who work and live in our communities are dangerous felons and should continue to be thought of as such in our legal system.
Well, at least Sen. Walker and Friends* are making their beliefs as Republicans known and differentiating themselves from Democrats. Sen. Dave Lewis gets to pull that piece off his vision board.
So, without a policy leg to stand on, the bill is pretty clear in it’s intent. The Montana GOP has had plans sketched in the margins of their e-mail Burn Books for sometime now to change the face of power in their party and the legislature. But, it’s just disappointing to see it coming in such a blatant manner.
It’s a shameful ploy proving just how big the egos on the far-right are getting when they think this is the kind of time wasting ‘power-play’ voters want to see coming out of a body with such a limited time frame to get things accomplished.*Call NBC. It’s a sitcom. The pilot will have a crazy blind date mix-up with a certain WI Governor and Aaron Sorkin will write it. Emmy. GOLD.