After a potentially tragic day on Friday in the Montana legislature, Montanans are not happy with GOP house speaker Mark Blasdel, who took advantage of an error to block private health insurance for 70,000 Montanans.
HB 623, which would provide coverage for 70,0000 working poor Montanans, was on the verge of becoming law on Friday. House Democrats and moderate Republicans had, together, fifty-one votes (out of 100 house members total) lined up to approve it. It would have then headed to Bullock’s desk for signature. Alas, one Democrat pushed the wrong button by mistake and voted the wrong way. The GOP immediately seized upon the error and are clinging to it to excuse their votes against the bill.
As result of the mis-vote, the GOP hardliners succeeded in sending the bill back to a House committee, where it stands a good chance of dying at the hands of the conservatives who control the committee.