James White NorthWest Liberty News December 30, 2018
From what I can gather, there is a pretty slimy thing being planned for the upcoming 2019 Montana Legislative Session; at least slimy in my opinion. What’s happening is that a group of republican legislators are trying to enact a rule change that would essentially weaken the Republican Caucus in the upcoming 2019 Legislative Session.
Admittedly, I do not know the specifics of the House Rules, nor do I have a complete grasp on how they are implemented. Those who follow me know that I have focused more on land issues out West overall, and not so much on the Montana political scene. That being said, I was able to collar a couple fellows who do know a lot about Montana politics; since one has served in the past and one serves now.
Please enjoy both videos linked below as I first interview former legislator, Ed Butcher, then I follow-up with current-serving Montana legislator, Derek Skees. Before you watch the videos, I encourage you to read the letter that my 1st guest, Ed Butcher wrote which got this whole ball rolling. It will provide great context as you watch the videos.
Attention Republican voters In Montana
The 2019 Montana Legislative session begins in January with a 58 to 42 Republican majority in the House where all spending bills legally originate. This should provide taxpayers with assurance that there will be fiscal responsibility in Helena.
WRONG—there has been historically a small group of Republican legislators during the past half dozen legislative sessions who are actually the liberal “Democrat Wing” of the Republican Party that join a united block of Democrat Party representatives to pass massive increases of spending of tax dollars by over 40% during the past dozen years. This government spending frenzy appears about to expand further in 2019.
The current “Democrat Wing” of the Republicans is led by Llew Jones (Conrad), Ed Buttrey (Great Falls), Eric Moore (Miles City), and Nancy Balance (Hamilton) who have this session been able to recruit up to ten additional House Republicans to support their efforts to align with the Democrat legislators. This “Republican” coalition is determined to support the Democrat legislators carrying Governor Bullock’s spending agenda to increase the size of Montana government.
The leaders of this fringe Republican group are angry that the majority of the Republican Caucus did not elect them to House leadership. Consequently, they are threatening to join forces with the minority Democrat legislators to overthrow the newly nominated House of Representative leadership.
In addition they are also threatening, at the urging of their Democrat legislators, to change to a simple majority vote the long-standing rules requiring 60 votes by the House members to “blast out” special interest bills which were tabled in committees. This proposed move would turn control of the legislation over to the Democrat Party/liberal coalition. Changing this House rule would result in a vote by the entire House on laws by representatives who have not heard the committee discussion which caused the propose law to be tabled. This change would create chaos since there are over 3,000 proposed laws currently being drafted for the 2019 Legislature to consider. This proposed change being pushed by the Rep. Jones coalition would eliminate the value of legislative committees responsible for carefully evaluating proposed laws. This would weaken the voters’ ability to address legislation during the committee process.
Sen. Ed Butcher (Winifred), Sen. Ken Miller (Laurel), …etc