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Posts tagged: Montana Legislature

Montana Thumbs Down On Legislators

Our Question of the Week last week asked whether the Montana Legislature deserved a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down for its work in the recently completed session. In one of the more lopsided votes in the recent history of our unscientific online poll, 363 votes were tallied for a thumbs-down, while just 63 registered a thumbs-up. Several readers took time to share their thoughts on the session. Here’s a sampling of what we heard: “This was one of the most dysfunctional legislative sessions I can recall, which is going some. Time and again the majority party sacrificed the welfare of the citizens of this state to the whims of radical tea party extremists. Montanans were fortunate to have a strong governor, who managed to derail at least some of the zany products of this session”/Missoulian. More here.

Question: Readers of Huckleberries Online and the Lewiston Tribune overwhelmingly gave the Idaho Legislature D's & F's for its 2011 session. But Montana has a governor that vetoed the excess of Tea Party legislators. Could Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer be elected in Idaho?

Idaho Legislature Isn’t Zaniest In NW

You want goofy (writes editorialist Marty Trillhaase/Lewiston Tribune)? Consider these proposals:

  • Adopting the Code of the West - “Live each day with courage … ride for the brand … remember that some things aren't for sale. …” as the code of the state.
  • Legalizing hunting with a hand-thrown spear.
  • Allowing guns in schools.
  • Creating fully armed militias for every town.
  • Omitting Obama's name from the 2012 ballot.
  • Authorizing hunters to use silencers.
  • Challenging the federal government to a fight over ownership of the national parks.
  • Giving an 11-member panel authority to defy any federal law.

Where would you locate this league of lunacy? Boise? Try Helena. Montana's Legislature has considered each one of those ideas. More here.

Question: Are you disappointed that there's a Legislature in the Northwest that's zanier than Idaho's?

Montana Guv: Tea Party Vision Goofy

This Jan. 12, 2010 file photo shows Montana Gov. Brian Scweitzer during a Bozeman City Commission meeting in Bozeman, Mont. Newly elected tea party enthusiasts in Montana are offering a vision of the future with a variety of new proposals. Their state would be a place where officials can ignore U.S. laws and FBI agents get a sheriff's OK before arresting anyone. But some residents, Gov. Schweitzer and even some Republican lawmakers say the bills are making Montana into a laughingstock. Associated Press story here. (AP Photo/Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Sean Sperry, File)

Question: Which state has a more extreme Legislature — Idaho or Montana?

Bill Seeks Counseling Before Divorce

Item: Bill would require marriage counseling before divorce in Montana/Mike Dennison, Missoulian

More Info: Because of the devastating effects of divorce on children and families, the state of Montana should not allow couples with minor children to get divorced until they've undergone at least 10 hours of marriage counseling, supporters of a bill imposing that requirement told a legislative committee Monday.

Question: Should states require couples considering divorce to have counseling?

Montana House votes to repeal medical marijuana law

HELENA - On a mostly party-line vote with Republicans in favor, the Montana House voted 63-37 Thursday to repeal the voter-passed 2004 law that legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes, as GOP lawmakers labeled it a “scourge” that is corrupting Montana.

“Today, we're not talking about medical marijuana,” said House Speaker Mike Milburn, the sponsor of House Bill 161. “We're talking about marijuana. It has gotten so far out of hand. We're talking about a totally uncontrolled epidemic by the drug trade industry. It's starting to undermine the very fabric of our state that we so greatly cherish.”

After endorsing the repeal, the House sent the bill to the House Appropriations Committee to examine the financial impacts of repealing the law. HB161 then will return to the House for a final vote before going to the Senate.

The final vote Thursday had 62 Republicans and one Democrat voting for HB161, while 31 Democrats and six Republicans opposed it.

Milburn, from Cascade, quoted a narcotics officer who estimated that medical marijuana is a $1 billion unregulated industry here, with Montana now considered “a source country” for marijuana, along with Mexico and Colombia, and other parts of South America. More.

Why the flip in Montana?

IMHO: Montana Rejects State Pancake

Well, Eli Tickner, age 15, you got your wish. The huckleberry pancake will not rise to the esteemed, golden brown level of the Official Pancake of the state of Montana. The Senate Agricultural Committee recently voted 6-3 to table House Bill 232, effectively flattening the chances for the Huckleberry Pancake to take its rightful place in the Flapjack Hall of Fame. It was a disappointing outcome that brought tears to schoolchildren throughout the state, and sent a chill through the ranks of short order cooks everywhere. Big Syrup is in an uproar, and we haven’t even heard yet from the waffle lobby/Bob Wire, New West. More here.

Question: Pancakes? Or waffles?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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