The week after the transmittal break always proves to be a slow week due to the lack of bills that have passed through the process from the other house. This week did not counter that history. Senate bills are starting to come through to the floor of the House and things will pick up again next week.
One thing that has happened this session is the number of bills that have been tabled in committee. Understand, no bill is truly dead unless it misses the assigned transmittal date for their designation of bill or we sine die, which ends the session. Many bills met that fate this year as has happened the previous two sessions I have been in the legislature.
As for Approps, we did our presentations by sub-committee last week and this week was active for our staff as they had to adjust the information based on what was passed by the committee. My committee, Section C, had very little to do because the details of changes were worked out before hand with the department heads so very few amendments were brought other than the couple I carried. It made for a quick presentation and I look for the same when we take the amended version of HB 2 to the floor on Tuesday.
The process for the remainder of HB 2 is that we present it on the House floor and when it passes, either with amendments or as passed by Approps, and it is on to the Senate. In the Senate the sub-committee chairs, including Eric Moore and me, have to make a presentation to Senate Finance and Claims similar to the one done on the House floor. They can amend it or pass it as presented and then it goes to the Senate floor for discussion. If any changes are made anywhere in the Senate process HB 2 will have to come back to the House for concurrence. If we agree with the amendments HB 2 goes to the Governor.
If we don’t agree HB 2 will go to a free committee for agreement on the differences. We would like to avoid a free committee because it opens the whole of HB 2 to discussion by 6 or 8 legislators and they decide what the budget for the state of Montana will be, even after the weeks of work that had been done before. In my mind, that is not a good way to do legislation of this magnitude.
If you have specific questions concerning HB 2, or any other processes get ahold of me at my email address is on the CONTACT PAGE – or call or text me at 951-6764. Your input is appreciated. It is an honor to represent you in the House of Representatives. Thank you.