Legislators: Positives, negatives to session

The 2015 Montana Legislative session reached its end in late April, and local legislators said there were positives and negatives to be taken from it.

“I’ve heard it said that compromise is when you have a deal where nobody is completely satisfied, but everybody can live with it,” said Sen. Eric Moore, R-Miles City and this session’s President Pro Tempore in a release. “The 64th legislative session can be fairly described that way.”

The 2013 session is best remembered for its contentiousness, but Moore said it was smoother this time around.

“Compared to the last session, this one was quite a bit calmer,” Moore said. “It was actually pretty smooth, people were cordial and there wasn’t any banging on desks or big ‘gotcha’ moments on the floor.”

That’s not to say that Moore left the session satisfied with what was (or wasn’t) accomplished. The passage of Medicaid expansion and the demise of Senate Bill 416, which dealt primarily with infrastructure needs, always a hot-button issue in eastern Montana, are just two of the issues Moore said he believes will continue to be a concern for all Montanans.

“SB 416 was written by a bipartisan group of senators, of which I was a part,” Moore said. “We sat down and crafted a bill that nobody liked very much but everybody could live with. We thought it would address statewide infrastructure priorities, strike a balance between cash and bonding and would be signed by the governor. Unfortunately, when we got to the House, we couldn’t quite get over the hump. As much as I would love to lay it all on the feet of the governor, there is enough blame here to go around. While I didn’t like some parts of the bill either, I would have thought there were enough good projects so more representatives would support it.”

For freshman Rep. Ken Holmlund, R-Miles City, his first legislative session was a learning experience, but one he welcomed. He prepared himself for the session by reading and talking to veterans of the process, familiarizing himself with strategy.


Read the entire from the Miles City Star: http://www.milescitystar.com/content/legislators-positives-negatives-session


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