Nutjob Bills in the 2017 Legislature

Here are some of the ridiculous pieces of legislation that have been put forward in 2017 by some of the crackpot Republicans who control the Montana legislature.  This is not a joke. These are real bills, and they are currently taking priority in the Montana legislature over anything legitimate that would create jobs or help people afford healthcare.

  1. Remove restrictions on the possession of domestically-bred foxes. HB 157 by Forrest Mandeville R-Columbus (Perhaps this is how Mandeville hunts for chickens.)
  2. Impose a new tax on electric vehicles, to encourage more oil consumption, HB 205, Alan Redfield, R-Livingston.  (Actual quote from bill co- sponsor: “Fuel efficiency has really impacted us negatively.”)
  3. Allow state legislators (and only legislators) a special exemption to carry firearms in any government building, including schools and state prisons,  by Randy Brodehl (R) Kalispell HB 280 (Does not apply to legislators who are sent to prison).
  4. Ban Sharia law from Montana courts. SB 97 by Keith Regier (Regier believes there is no more pressing issue in Montana.)
  5. Exempt sale of “homemade food” from all freshness, safety, cleanliness, and contamination standards. by Greg Hertz R-Polson HB 352 (Includes unsanitized aka “raw” milk, which also has its own separate bill.  Finally someone is doing what it takes to advance jobs and economic development in our great state.)
  6. Create a state militia and outfit them with uniforms. LC546 by Cary Smith R-Billings (Smith may be in talks with Hugo Boss, who made SS uniforms in the ’30s).
  7.  Lift nuclear ban so that reactor can be built in the Flathead Valley, next to Galcier National Park. by Derek Skees R-Kalispell LC2008 (Ideas of this caliber never die. See HB 326 from the 2011 session.)
  8. Strike the word “fair” wherever it appears in landlord/tenant agreements for trailer homes, by Peggy Webb (R-Billings) HB 350 
  9. Exempt political ads by religious groups from campaign finance laws, by classifying them as “news reports.” LC0604 by David Howard (R-TEA Park City)
  10. Give county sheriffs authority over the federal government in terror investigations.  By Cary Smith R-Billings LC0512 (Don’t you feel safer already?)
  11. Re-legalize the drinking of beer while riding in a car (the “road beer” bill), by Daniel Zolnikov, R-Billings, HB 206 (Montana ranka 3rd among states with most drunk driving deaths. Perhaps Zolnikov wants the number one spot.)
  12. Eliminate the office of Commissioner of Political Practices, by Derek Skees (R-Kalispell) HB 340.(Skees might have been himself removed from office for his involvement in the Meth House Scandal, had not the  statute of limitations expired shortly before the Commissioner of Political Practices began his prosecutions.)
  13. Ban bicycles from all two-lane roads. by Barry Usher R-Roundup (Indeed Usher owns a motorcycle dealership. Hard to believe this world class idea has not been advanced before.) LC2196
  14. Create new time zone known as “Montana Standard Time”, Ryan Osmondson, R-Buffalo, SB206
  15. Allow “the possession of firearms on postal service property.”  HB 246, by Randy Brodehl (At long last, Montanans will have more freedom to go postal.)
  16. Prohibit dousing oneself with out-of-state deer urine, SB 173 Jill Cohenour, D-East Helena  (In this case, it’s the necessity of banning said practice that’s nuts, not the bill.)
  17. Increase the legislative branch budget by 16% while every branch or agency faces painful cuts. HB 1, by Nancy Ballance R-Bitterroot. (Branding their own caucus as blatant hypocrites is perhaps the sharpest move this bunch has ever made.)

42 Comments on "Nutjob Bills in the 2017 Legislature"

  1. Just one question on SB 173: How are we going to recognize if a deer is from Montana or from another state? We gonna put license plates on them and require them to carry their registration papers on them.
    And Usher’s bill LC2196-I think he has been inhaling the fumes from his Harley for a bit too long and it fried what little intelligence he once had.

      • The “DEAR Wall” has already been submitted by the Trump bunch. These bills could all be laughable if they weren’t so frightening. This shows what kind of people who have been voted into places of power. America still has good people who know what is needed and understand what Common Sense Bills should be introduced. Are we down to scrapping the bottom of the barrel to get decent people to run this country ?

  2. Number 7 should not be dismissed out of hand. PBS just had a very interesting show about nuclear power. The water cooled generating plants should be made obsolete. They are a result of Rickover’s desire to build nuclear submarines. Even though a salt based reactor was feasible at that time, salts become dangerous when wet. So the water cooled reactor became standard.

    The show went on to show the research that is currently going on to build reactors that are not water cooled, and based on physics safer. More research is needed to prove out the concepts. But if a safer nuclear can be designed, then it should be given strong consideration. Especially its role in reducing CO2 and coal ash byproduct.

    A visit to the Idaho National Lab, Arco, ID, coulkd prove informative. A good bit of research can be done online.

    • Well thats pretty stupid. And the waste generated goes where exactly? Chernoybyl, Fukushima, three mile island not enough examples for you? Reactors generate waste, unless you want it in your very own back yard, stop promoting such nonsense. Have a nice day!

      • Skees will eat the waster perhaps…

      • I worked Nuclear power plants Snuwolf as an X ray tech in the building and safety concerns of these plants. My father was one of the most sought after Control room builders in the world. Nothing he built has had a problem, unlike like the ones you point to. and actually they can be built rather safely, but that’s not the what corporations do anymore. yes the plants are aging, and yes even the safer ones should be shut down ultimitely…. HOwever, Thorium Power was always the safer future of Nuclear Energy. But Being a Patriotic American in the 60 and 70’s meant any nuclear research that did not support the US nuclear arsenal. was simply not given priority. Until we as a world rid ourselves of Nuclear bombs, we won’t be able to go to the next step and make sure America has inexhaustible energy.

        The same can be said for oil and coal. Two huge environmental problems, that won’t be stopped until coal and oil company CEO’s are jailed for trying to kill the planet.

        Read more about thorium before jumping to complete conclusions about fissile energy, you will be glad you did.

    • All the western nuclear builders are in serious finaincial trouble over construction delays and extreme cost over-runs. Toshiba, which took over when Westinghouse bailed out of the nuclear business, just announced it is also leaving the business, in part because of losses on reactors under construction in Georgia and Florida. Billions have been spent on the four reactors and it remains uncertain whether they will ever be completed. Rate-payers in the southeast are being charged extra on their monthly bills right now for reactors that may never generate a single watt.
      (Florida, the Sunshine State, has the toughest laws in the nation against solar development, which is what you can expected from Republican leadership there.)
      Newer reactor designs won’t fail the way water-cooled reactors have, but they can fail in all new ways. Liquid metal reactors have never been built to scale and they have a bad tendency to burn their fuel when things go wrong — the exact reason Adm. Rickover rejected them.
      And as with everything in the nuclear industry’s history, the taxpayer always gets stuck with the tab.

    • John, I live in Columbia Falls. The Flathead is filling up fast and people will not tolerate a nuclear plant in our midst. Skeeziks might but reasonable people won’t.

  3. 5 is good. You’d be surprised how many Montanans rely on cottage food operations.

    • Really? And when that unregulated food product puts your kid in the hospital, where do you turn for help? You can’t sue to recover medical expenses so you’re SOL. Yay freedumb from regyoulayshunz! Beam me up Scotty, I can’t stand the idiocy any longer.

    • There is a reason the FDA came into being, because greedy people will do anything to make a buck. Last year a few companies were selling wood shavings as parmesan cheese.

      Not having those laws, Might actually cause us far more and lives lost than AMerica needs.

      • When you buy food at a farmers market, do you think that it’s been inspected? Are you willing to pay 2x the price to ensure that it is?

        • Yes and why not. I have never found Farmers markets to be cheaper than regular stores. Thats why I can my own, Thats why I grow a lot of my own food.

          Good farmers can show their products are watched over.

    • Raw milk saves lives, but hey, if you don’t want to drink it then nobody is forcing you to do so. The premise of this bill is great for small producers who would normally be saddled with insurmountable inspection costs to sell real food at places like farmers’ markets. Once again, if you want the processed, toxic, dyed, flavored “food” from the grocery store then nobody is forcing you to change.

  4. Not a proponent of nuclear power either, however, you should at least look at the technology behind molten salt reactors (MSR). Not saying that we should be in a rush to build ’em but they don’t operate in remotely the same way as reactors like Fukushima, Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island did. For instance, MSR’s use a different fuel cycle that, as I understand it, can also “burn” a lot of the incredibly radioactive uranium and plutonium waste we have stockpiled into considerably less radioactive isotopes with short half-lives. Like 60 or 70 years as compared to millions of years. The reactor vessel in an MSR is not pressurized. The fuel and the coolant are one and must pass through a moderator to fission. In the event of emergency shutdown the fuel and coolant in an MSR is drained via gravity and quickly cools to a solid passive state. If such notable right wing eco-fascists like Bill Gates are investing in it perhaps its not such a stupid idea;) Might be pretty progressive to build a couple of these here MSR’s and charge a really hefty premium to clean up all the radioactive waste that’s stockpiled around the country.

  5. .18 Kick a man when he’s down bill. Jesus. It’s a sad, sad day when Jennifer Fielder makes more sense than most of the rest of the Legislature. What the heck? Am I turning into a Republican?

    Come on, folks. First, take their drivers license, then their business license, then their ability to eat. WTF? I give up. War on the poor. How ’bout we go after REAL crooks, like the out of state corporations who don’t pay taxes? Easy pickins to pick on the poor. And I’m sick of it from BOTH parties!

    • Too poor to afford food or support your children, but wealthy enough to afford guns+ammo+licenses+tags? LOL. Get a job.

      • That’s right, Pat. You nailed it. WEALTHY! Now, only the wealthy out of staters will be able to hunt. And yes, it’s a continuation of the war on the poor. Ever paid child support? Ever been divorced? Ever been strapped for money? A meal? A place to live? The father has NO chance. You Dems insured that. And that’s the truth. She gets the gold mine and HE gets the shaft! Ask any guy who’s been there.

        Look, I worked in the trades most of my life. Everybody I KNOW was paying child support. And lots of it. And yes, they hunted for meat to feed themselves and their kids. So, why the hell would you want to prevent that?

        Come with me some time and meet my friends and coworkers. Decent guys who are attempting to provide for their kids the best they can. But the system is stacked against them. Let the poor basstards feed their kids for Christ’s sake. What the hell is WRONG with you touchy feely Dims? I’m old school Dem. We feed people, and we let people feed their families. What Dim party are YOU from? The gay is everyting crowd?

        Working men need rights too!

        • If you’re too poor to afford food, we have a program for you. It’s called food stamps.

          • How ’bout we just let them hunt? What is your objection to that? Is every father now a criminal because the old lady up and left with the kids? Just wondering. You dems have so little sympathy for the working poor any more. No wonder Trump whomped your butts. And look at the Legislature. Can it get any worse for you folks? Yet you just keep trying!

            The dem party is done until they stop making everything a crime and restricting rights. Yes, rights. In Montana, hunting is essentially a basic right culturally speaking. You see, many of us Montanans feed deer and elk on our land. Therefore, we have the right to hunt and allow others to do so. We willingly provide support for wildlife populations, and we want others to benefit from it. Stop being so petty.

  6. Regarding Number 2. With more electric, dual power and very fuel efficient vehicles on the road, who will wind up paying the fuel taxes that build and maintain roads? If not fuel taxes then how?

    • We lose more fuel taxes to subsidizing oil corporations than to roads. time for them to be taxed to keep the roads going and to clean their waste products….. and if your still complaining that wont be enough tax the companies who use the roads the most.

      ANd stop subsidizing any corporation that goes global.

  7. As I stated the other day, all they do is waste time and money!

  8. It appears Helena is already living on Montana Standard Time…

  9. “Allow state legislators (and only legislators) to carry firearms in any government building”? Who are the government office holders going to shoot…the public? Why does the MTGOP want the Government to arm itself against the general public!?

  10. I actually agree with Zolnikof. Passing laws that assume we are too stupid to follow other laws is the kind of thinking that drives me to agree with libertarians. Enforce the DUI law that prevents actual dangerous behaviour. If your passengers are forcing you to drink then you picked bad friends. Do I need the legislature to decide who my friends are? Do my friends care if there is a rediculous law against drinking while not driving? No and No. Can I drive sober while my friends have beer? Yes, I can. Do laws telling other people how to make personal choices the don’t affect other people make Democrats feel good about themselves? Appearantly.

  11. So what are the Democrat nutjob bills?

  12. Little Big Town MT just got an exclusive report from State Senator Cary L Smith on why he feels Montana needs a militia. It’s good to know we have fine folks like Cary putting the hell in Helena!

  13. We do need to think about how to replace revenue from the gasoline tax to support the road infrastructure.

  14. Ms. Duffy: Just for future use: “your” is used when possession is indicated (your nutjob bill). “You’re” is used when you actually mean “you are” (you’re proposing a nutjob bill).

  15. Your time would be better spent educating yourself rather than attempting to spread dislike for Republicans. Your conjecture (and others like yourself) could very well be why the Republicans have control, not only in Montana, but at a national level. Let’s take a look at just a couple of the bills you point out.

    SB206 – provide for Montana standard time. Advocates tout energy conservation as an economic benefit. Studies have actually shown that cost savings on lighting are more than offset by greater cooling (air conditioning) expenses. Some also argue that increased recreational activity during daylight saving results in greater gasoline consumption. And contrary to popular belief, this was never about farmers.

    SB173 – prohibit use of out of state urine as cover scent. Chronic waste disease may be passed in feces, urine, or saliva. CWD causes degeneration of the brains of infected animals resulting in emaciation, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and death. Seems pretty reasonable to me to protect the wildlife of this great state.


  16. Yes, some of these are nutty ideas, but #5, expanding the definition of food that can be sold without onerous licensing, is a good idea. I have lobbied to remove the policy barriers that keep Montanans from eating locally produced food for many sessions. Before 2015, jam makers, cookie bakers, and other producers of cottage food, had to pay for a new license every time they took their food truck across county lines. They dealt with conflicting regulations, and were charged for multiple licenses over and over again.

    To qualify under this bill, a producer must first use non-hazardous ingredients (nothing refrigerated), register with the health department, and sell directly to consumers. They pay for one license, not many. In the unlikely event of an outbreak, the health department can trace it back directly to the producer. Rep Greg Hertz has carried previous local food bills, and is a good sponsor.

    Local food bills are passed by large majorities. The issue unites rural and urban, Democrats and Republicans. The 2015 cottage food bill was the result of 2 years of public input. This bill refines the 2015 law and includes some items left out.

    I recommend if you think something is a lousy idea, find out more about it before lambasting it in public.

    Raw milk legislation is another ball game. Good and reasonable people have opposing views that cross party lines.

    • Pasteurization is settled science — long settled science — and requiring pasteurization of milk is a tremendous and well documented public health success. Only a fool drinks raw milk. And only an irresponsible, science denying, legislator votes to legalize the sale of raw milk. HB-352’s section on pasteurization is by itself solid reason to kill the bill, and save some child from being killed or sickened by raw milk fed to it by stupid parents.

  17. I would say I’m shocked but this happens every two years. none of or at best very few of these people really do understand how law works. how being part of the USA works or how they have jobs only because the federal government allows them to have jobs. I love how they trash the Feds when its the feds with the help of California that supports this welfare state in whole. We are 48 or 49th in receiving federal welfare money. What does that mean? Well for every $1.00 of federal income tax paid by Montana we receive $5.35 back form the feds. Go ahead morons play your cards.

  18. How about HB 394 introduced by Willis Curdy (D-Missoula) which would legislate away Montana’s right to vote in Presidential elections.

    If this legislation was in place last November (if anybody would bother to vote) we wouldn’t even count the votes. We would wait until California results are in, then simply give our electoral votes to whatever candidate had the most votes in other States.

    I think the Dem legislators are all suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome.

  19. Rio Aagaard-Shively | February 15, 2017 10:09 PM at 10:09 PM |

    To be fair, SB206 only seeks to opt out from Daylight savings, which I would consider to be a good thing.

  20. Great story! I can see this hanp.pinge.I can also see the wheels turning in your head about such a discrepancy in bet you were petrified..a brawl in the food court??LOL

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