The legislature has been in session for over a month and I can’t really point to any accomplishments.
In fact, I can’t think of a single thing they’ve done...besides waste taxpayer money while making it a real headache to find Capitol-area parking for our regular state workers.
Mostly we just want to get a budget passed, and perhaps fund some infrastructure. Keeping Obamacare in Montana would probably help a lot of the working poor, as well as a lot of the rich people sitting on the various hospital boards around the state.
At this point, though, Republicans aren’t happy with Obamacare in Montana...mainly because we know that anywhere from 20,000 to 28,000 people on the program aren't working, but could work (meaning they’re not ill or disabled).
Neither Dems or Republicans have asked why so many that could work aren’t. I wonder if they will.
I also wonder how GOPer Fred Thomas feel about Obamacare work requirements. He took campaign money from nursing industry workers, doctors, medical consultants as well as Consumer Direct Care Network…a group that represents over 27,000 care workers.
Sadly, no reporters have asked the architect of Montana deregulation this question yet.
So Obamacare seems to be the main focus this week, not the budget.
The budget bill - HB 2 - is not going to appear on the House floor until March 19-21, according to Representative Forrest Mandeville, which was reported by Holly Michaels on Twitter today.
So that would be February 13 all the way until March 19 that the legislature is doing...what, exactly?
I know the Democrats are mostly putting forth ‘feel-good’ bills that have no chance of winning. These are things like state-funded preschool, increasing the minimum wage, granting paid family leave, and a host of other bills that won’t make it out of committee in a Republican-controlled legislature.
Freshman Democratic legislators probably know now why I’ve been harping for five years now that Dems need to figure out how to win a chamber.
Alas, all I get for my efforts are attacks and labels of DINO or anti-semite or whatever else is favorable in Dem circles...circles which don’t really care about policy so much as padding the pockets of those at the top of the Montana Democratic Party.
Republicans are mainly trying to harm as many of the working poor as possible while they try to pad their own pockets with further tax cuts for rich people like themselves.
The governor is too busy chasing the skirt of his presidential run, heading out of state again this Friday and Saturday.
In 13 months he’ll be back in Montana, licking his Super Tuesday wounds while filing to run against Daines. Like now, any talk of his possible presidential run will be frowned upon.
Also in 13 months, new executive director of the Montana Democratic Party - Monica Lindeen - will have made an additional $91,000 from her job.
During that time, Democrats won’t come any closer to taking a chamber of the legislature, and their chances of winning a statewide office back will be slim to none.
I think Dems will have their greatest chances at taking pack OPI and possibly AG.
There seems to be a lot of consensus among the left in the state that former Republican legislator, Kris Hansen, will run for AG.
I hope so.
Here’s what MT Post had to say a couple weeks ago on it:
"That leaves Kris Hansen for attorney general. She been placing her name in a lot of press releases from Rosendale of late, she does legal work in his office, of poor quality, that is detrimental to Montanans..."
And here’s what Ghost of Tom Joad had to say about it earlier this week:
"Hansen has managed to hire her own kind to replace employees who have either quit or been fired. And then there’s her living situation in which she’s shacked up with one of her paralegals from the office. Nothing inappropriate here, move along."
Yep, Hansen is working in Matt Rosendale’s Auditor’s Office at the moment.
I hope MT Post sends a public records request to that office, requesting a batch of her emails (can you think of any other site in Montana that would even try?).
I’d be interested in seeing how she actually is treating her employees, and I feel the emails will tell that story.
Might be worth shelling-out $100 to $200 for those emails.