It’s almost over. The 64th session of the Montana Legislature may end today. I’m going to miss it! Now seems to be the perfect time for the Republicans to start complaining about being on the losing side of some important bills in the Montana Legislature.
On Saturday the Great Falls Tribune published part of one of my columns, giving it the title of “Quote of the Week.” In the column I wrote, “The circus in Helena is coming to an end, and by most accounts the majority party has not done too well.”
Now some of those from the majority party are writing guest opinion pieces and complaining. I happened to catch a guest opinion in the Billings Gazette from State Rep. Sarah Laszloffy which was written in collaboration with Rep. Seth Berglee, R-Joliet, Rep. Forrest Mandeville, R-Columbus; Rep. Nick Schwaderer, R-Superior; and Rep. Daniel Zolnikov, R-Billings. The column has been making its way around the state this past week.
Laszloffy and friends call themselves the “next generation” of the Republican Party.
Their big complaint was about the Medicaid expansion vote and the “rule maneuvering” that went on to get it passed. I believe Medicaid expansion passed because of two reasons. One was because the minority party leadership (Democrats) played the game better than the majority party leadership (Republicans). If this legislative session had been a game, the officials might have stopped it because of the mercy rule. The second reason it passed, in my humble opinion, is because some elected officials have compassion for those less fortunate.
Laszloffy and friends wrote:
Although Montana elected 59 Republican legislators in a 100-person House, a handful of liberal Republicans sided with the Democrats to form a majority and muscle through the largest increase of welfare Montana has seen in our lifetimes.
Laszloffy and friends should realize that sometimes people just want to do the right thing – and actually want to help those less fortunate. These young legislators will probably learn this someday when they mature a little more.
Another part that bothered me about the opinion piece was this:
Medicaid expansion in Montana will soon be a reality. Senate Bill 405 accepts $700 million of federal money to expand the Medicaid program through Obamacare to tens of thousands of able-bodied adults.
I’m glad that Laszloffy and friends have checked to see that it will be given to “tens of thousands of able-bodied adults.” Maybe they should check with Healthcare.gov for guidance which tells readers:
Medicaid and CHIP provide free or low-cost health coverage to millions of Americans, including some low-income people, families and children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
Moderate and independent voters (like me) would like to see a little more compassion from the “members of the next generation” instead of them just picking up their ball and going home like sore losers when things don’t go their way.
I’m sure in the following days we’ll be seeing more guest opinions from both sides. It may be hard to read some of them because of the whining.
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