So far the 64th session of the Montana Legislature has been disappointing for many, a comedy show for others, and a great example of how partisan politics cripples our state.
The Legislature goes back into session tomorrow (April 7) to start the final push. The session is scheduled to end May 1. What the heck will we write about then?
One of the more disappointing failures (so far) of the 64th Montana Legislature was the tabling of House Bill 493 which would provide funding for a 60-bed veterans’ home in Butte.
It’s one of those actions in the legislature that makes me shake my head.
A few days ago they tried to “blast” the bill to the floor which requires 2/3 majority. The 46 “Nay” (No) votes (HERE) are the state representatives who voted against Montana veterans.
Ironically, some of the folks who voted against veterans are the ones who voted “Yea” (Yes) on Agenda 21. My state legislator did.
An editorial in the Great Falls Tribune put this issue in very simple terms: if Montana builds the home, the federal government will reimburse the state for its share.
That seems simple enough that even a first-term legislator could figure it out.
In the Tribune editorial, it was disclosed that the office of U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., said the Butte home is on a federal priority list, but it’s not at the top. Tester, along with U.S. Sen. Steve Daines and U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke, should use some of their clout to get the Butte home moved up the priority list. We elect them to fight for the state.
If the Montana Legislature wants to have any integrity when it comes to veterans, they should approve funding for the Butte veterans’ home.
That would be the honorable thing to do.