Category Archives: Montana Legislature

Will Montana House Republican Legislators Implement ObamaCare???????

Will Montana House Republican Legislators Implement ObamaCare???????


Incredibly, House republicans recently breathed life into a proposal by Democrat State Auditor Monica Lindeen to implement ObamaCare in Montana.

Lindeen is pushing House Bill 124 which creates an “exchange”, and an oversight board to help implement ObamaCare. Unbelievably, the House Business and Labor Committee added a revenue provision to HB124, allowing it to stay alive for at least another few weeks.

Please contact “Republican” Rep. Elsie Arntzen, R=Billings, who chairs the House panel, other members of the committee, and tell them there is no such thing as “a Montana solution” to implement ObamaCare!!

They need to kill HB124, and vote against ObamaCare!!

Go to and send a strong message “NO to ObamaCare, NO to the ObamaExchange” to the following individuals:Chair: Elsie Arntzen (R-Billings), Vice Chair: Tom Berry (R-Roundup)


Christy Clark (R-Choteau), Lila Evans (R-Browning), Edward Greef (R-Florence), Harry Klock (R-Harlowton), Jonathan McNiven (R-Huntley), Scott Reichner (R-Bigfork),
Matthew Rosendale (R-Glendive), Daniel Salomon (R-Ronan), Sterling Small (R-Busby), Cary Smith (R-Billings), Gordon Vance (R-Bozeman), Jeffrey Welborn (R-Dillon), SPEAKER-Mike Milburn (R-Cascade), Speaker Pro Tempore-Janna Taylor (R-Dayton), Majority Leader-Tom McGillvray (R-Billings), Majority Whip-Gerald Bennett (R-Libby),
Keith Regier (R-Kalispell), Wendy Warburton (R-Havre), President of the Senate-Jim Peterson (R-Buffalo), President Pro Tempore-Bruce Tutvedt (R-Kalispell), Majority Leader-Jeff Essmann (R-Billings), Majority Whip-Taylor Brown (R-Huntley), Sen. Chase Vincent (R-Libby), Chose the committee (House Business and Labor Committee).
Click on the site above, and it will send your message to everyone on that committee.

Thank You,






2011 Mid-Session Report

The following interim legislative “scorecard” was produced by Montana Conservatives.  TAB measures the percentage of the time each legislator supports the conservative position on key legislation.  We examine every bill that receives a recorded floor vote, asking the fundamental question: does this legislation increase or decrease the presence of government in our lives?

Votes for larger, more powerful, more intrusive and more expensive government are interpreted as “liberal” or leftist positions.  Votes for smaller government, lower taxes, fewer regulations and more individual and economic freedom are interpreted as “conservative” positions.  Other traditional conservative positions, including government transparency, competitive free markets, states rights and educational choice are also taken into account.


What makes TAB such a reliable rating system is the fact that it is tied to no particular industry or interest group, and uses bills that span a wide range of issues and public policies, from taxing and spending to education, welfare, business regulation, government reform, subsidies and interventions, property rights and personal liberty.  TAB uses a very high number of votes in our ratings, which helps ensure objectivity and accuracy.

On the following pages are listed the individual conservative percentages for all legislators through the transmittal break, separated by house and by party.  Rankings are divided into four categories: conservative, conservative-leaning, liberal-leaning and liberal. Newcomers (freshmen with no prior experience) are bolded.  Incumbents who registered an improvement of 15% or more from their last session scores are denoted in blue; those whose conservative scores dropped 15% or more are indicated in red.

Every Democratic legislator scored in the liberal range (none over 13%.) Republicans were once again spread across the political spectrum, with more of the GOP residing left-of-center than right-of-center: 22 Conservative, 21 Conservative Leaning, 20 Liberal Leaning and 33 Liberal (largest group.)

Overall House and Senate conservative voting percentages through the break:

House Average —  35%

House Republicans —  49%

House Democrats  —  8%

Senate Average —  27%

Senate Republicans  —  45%

Senate Democrats  —  5%

Compared to the full session TAB ratings for the 2009 legislature, the State Senate has thus far posted an 8 point improvement among Republicans, with Democrats unchanged.  House Republicans are unchanged from 2011; Democrats have improved by 7 points.


The bills used in each house for our survey are listed at the end of the report, with Montana Conservatives support or opposition noted.  There were 38 House bills indexed and 22 Senate.    As in the past, the majority of good index bills that reached the House and Senate floors were government growth measures that we opposed.  Most of the strong conservative legislation was still getting killed in committee, despite heavy Republican majorities in this session.


TAB Report, 2011 Mid-Session







Why should we pay for their transmission lines?

Why should we pay for their transmission lines?


Last December the federal government decided that the Montana Dakota Utility customers can help pay for transmission lines in other states that deliver no power to Montanan’s. Now the Republican led legislature wants to make that easier (HB198) by granting the right of condemnation (eminent domain) to developers in eastern Montana that will ship wind power to states with problems meeting their self imposed Renewable Energy Mandates. Yes, you will receive no power from these lines but the costs will show up on your MDU bill. If you are a NorthWesten Energy customer don’t laugh. The head of the federal energy commission recently announced he wants to do the same thing to you.


Gov. Schweitzer has his own energy advisors that know of this yet pushes the legislature to get HB 198 on his desk as soon as possible. The PSC has held many sessions on what to do about this to protect Montana consumers yet PSC Commissioner Molnar is the only one to raise the issue at the legislature.


One commissioner cannot protect you. You must protect yourself. Regardless of the supplier of your electricity, or if you are a co-op served land owner, you should call 406-444-4800 and email your Representative and Senator and tell them of your displeasure of being used as a funding source (through HB 198) for other states decisions.


Support HB 526

Support HB 526
Hearing Mon. March 7 RM. 317 3PM

SUPPORT – HB526 – Create interstate health care compact, by Champ Edmunds (R ) HD 100


Hearing (S) Public Health, Welfare and Safety Monday March 7, Room 317, 3:00 PM

Text of bill:


This bill creates a compact between multiple states, enabling them to lobby Congress to return control of healthcare regulation and healthcare funding to the states.


Call Capitol Switchboard – 406-444-4800 – [leave message for (S) Public Health, Welfare and Safety committee]


Or email web form – – [to the (S) Public Health, Welfare and Safety committee]


Support HB178

Support HB178
Hearing March 3rd
9AM Room 303

Hat Tip: Julie NW Montana Patriots
 Urge SUPPORT HB 178 Verify lawful presence in US before issuing driver’s license or ID card -   sponsored by David Howard (R) HD 60 March 3, Hearing, (S) Highways and Transportation committee, Rm 405, 3:00 PM
This bill would require that the Dept. of Justice verify lawful presence in the U.S. before issuing a driver’s license or ID card. 
If you are unable to attend the hearing but would like to have your comments read during the hearing, please contact the sponsor Rep. David Howard  or the Committee Chairman, Senator Llew Jones
Call – Capitol Switchboard – 406-444-4800 – [leave message for Committee]Or email web form – – [to the Committee]

Private Property Legislation

Hat Tip: Rachel Roberts
Concerned Citizens Montana  ACTION – Voices for Honest Energy

Senate Legislative Hearing
OPPOSE – HB198- Eminent Domain Bill
SUPPORT SB 391 – Private Property Protection Related to Merchant Transmission
OPPOSE – HB198 – Generally Revise Eminent Domain – Sponsor Rep. Ken Peterson (R) – Hearing Senate Energy and Telecommunications Room 317, 3:00 PM 3/3/2011

This bill expands eminent domain to allow public utilities and out-of-state, out-of-country, private corporations to exercise the right to condemn private property for corporate profit. Public utilities include NorthWestern Energy that proposes their 500 kV merchant line Mountain States Transmission Intertie (MSTI) and Montana Dakota Utility (MDU). Private foreign corporations include Toronto-based Tonebridge Power working on the Montana Alberta Tie-Line (MATL). MATL impacts 250 landowners in Montana and 113 landowners in Alberta . TransCanada would like eminent domain to pave the way for their 500 – 850 kV merchant transmission line, Chinock. The Chinock will follow along the path of MSTI.
SUPPORT –  SB 391 – Establishing private property protection program related to energy transmission – Sponsor Senator Art Wittich (R)
Hearing Senate Energy and Telecommunications Room 317, 3:00 PM 3/3/2011
Since merchant lines are new to the state, this new law will provide a private property protection board to establish a 1) private property protection special revenue account (there is a private property protection account in the state special revenue fund), 2) private property protection program (to compensate private property owners for damage caused by the development of a merchant transmission line), and 3) private property protection license fee (an owner or operator of a merchant line shall pay a license fee, that is deposited as follows; 50% in the private property protection account, 50% in the state general fund. And, an owner or operator of a merchant line shall pay a license fee of 2% of the taxable value of the merchant line if, prior to construction, the owner or operator of the merchant line had not obtained voluntary right-of-way agreements or options for a right-of-way from more that 90% of private property owners who collectively own more than 90% of the property along the right-of-way and made all reasonable efforts to site the merchant line on public land.  
In-Person – There is strength in numbers and it’s encouraging to anticipate hundreds of people at the State Capitol to attend the legislative hearing. You can 1) prepare and read a couple of talking points and testify before the Senate Energy & Telecommunications committee. Provide a copy of your testimony for the Senate Energy & Telecommunications secretary when you are done speaking. (a prepared 2 -3 minute speech allows others a chance to speak) 2) If you are uncomfortable with speaking, you can still state your name and say I oppose House Bill 198. 3) come support those who are speaking and watch the legislative hearing. Legislators need to take heed of an overwhelming audience concerned about our private property rights. (A few more tips about legislative hearing protocol at the end of this e-mail)
Note: With e-mail letters or personal testimony before the committee, be polite, brief and stay on the topic of the bill regarding private property rights. The bill is not about wind energy.
Legislative Bills can be reviewed online at:
Call Capitol Switchboard – 406-444-4800 – [leave message for Senate Energy and Telecommunications committee]
Or email web form – – [send message to Senate Energy and Telecommunications committee]
E-mail – Send separate e-mails for each bill. In the Subject line of your e-mail, title each e-mail , OPPOSE HB198 and title, SUPPORT SB391. That way if legislators do not open and read e-mails, they will see the titles when they scroll through their e-mails. Senate Energy & Telecommunications committee: Alan Olsen, Chair, Verdell Jackson, V-Chair, Shannon Augare, Ron Erickson, Jeff Essmann, Bob Lake, Lynda Moss, Jason Priest, Mitch Tropila, Kendall Van Dyk, Chas Vincent, Ed Walker;;;;;;;;;;;
Testifying before a legislative committee~ turn off cell phone~ sign sheet at the entrance of legislative room ~ Opening – “Good afternoon Chair Olson and members of the committee. For the record I’m Joe Smith, S-M-I-T-H (Spell out your last name)It’s permissible to read a testimony. When you are finished speaking, give a copy to the committee secretary. She will later provide copies for everyone on the committee.~ Testimony copy should provide, for example:Thursday, March 3Senate Energy & Telecommunications CommitteeHouse Bill 198Joe Smith, (profession/optional)(phone/e-mail/city/optional)Body of testimony~ Note: After proponents and opponents speak, you may be asked a question by a committee member, for example:Senator Doe – “Mr. Smith, What do you think about”…?Joe Smith – “Senator Olson and Senator Doe, I think”…Always address the chair and the Senator that asked you the question before commenting.

Support SB 125

Support SB 125
Hearing 3/4/2011 Rm. 152 3 PM
House Human Services Committee

Urge SUPPORT SB125 Prohibit state government from administering federal health insurance purchase requirement

– sponsored by Art Wittich ( R) SD 35


Bill Text:

Hearing before the House Human Services committee, room 125, 3:00 PM

If you are unable to attend the hearing but would like to have your comments read during the hearing, please contact the sponsor Senator Art Wittich ( R) SD 35 or the Committee Chairman, Representative David Howard


Call Capitol Switchboard – 406-444-4800 – [leave message for House Human Services committee]

Or email web form – – [to the House Human Services committee]

If the answer to the following is YES then vote NO

Would it affect or diminish private ownership of anything?

Would it cost the individual any (permit, money, tax, fee or freedom)?

Would it require permission in any form?

Would it cause any growth in government or bureaucracy?

Would it add any new public employees?

Would it run counter to the constitution, federal or state, in any way?

Does it lack a sundown clause?

Does it yield to federal coercion?

Does it include: and for other purposes?

If the answer is YES then vote NO


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