Carbon County Republican Women hosts first meeting for 2017

Carbon County Republican Women met at Ft. Rockvale Restaurant Wednesday Jan. 4 for their first meeting in 2017. After the Pledge of Allegiance our new president Cynthia Marble opened with prayer, followed by a devotional by Annie Halland from Franklin Graham in the Decision magazine. Our President then introduced our speaker Jeff Lazloffy with the Montana Family Foundation.
Lazloffy has worked with MFF—affiliated with Focus on the Family ministries— for the last 20 years. Montana Family Foundation concentrates on four main areas of legislation each session. They are: Life; Marriage and Family concerns; Religious Freedom; and School Choice. The Montana biannual legislative session began Jan. 2, and Lazloffy reported there seems to be a different atmosphere than last year and that it seems less acrimonious on the hill. He believes that is due to less money being available to fight over after last session’s overspending by Gov. Bullock. With the tax base collapsing in Montana due to Colstrip closures, the Bakken slowing down, sinking ag prices and a weak timber industry there will only be monies to fund the basics in 2017.
This year MFF will be promoting two school choice bills. Currently 47 states have some kind of school choice legislation. Montana is one of only three states that do not.  Last year’s tax credit was forced into litigation by Governor Bullock costing time and taxpayer dollars for a $150 credit. That will come out intact and be acted upon.  Also the MFF is promoting the Educational Savings Act for Children with Disabilities which takes 90 percent of what is being spent on the child and allows the child to use it for therapy/or schooling, a move designed to help the child while immediately saving 10 percent for the state.
MFF will also be working to promote a Genetic Engineering Bill which would ban the insertion of non-human genetic information into human embryos. Mostly, however, Lazloffy sees the MFF working to stop the bills harmful to life, marriage and family, religious freedom and school choice, as the chances of passing conservative bills with a Democrat governor are not very realistic. 
There was a robust discussion with Lazloffy about many subjects: charter schools, new Republicans in office in Helena, bills the MFF will help to promote, term limits, Montana government as a whole, the Montana Supreme Court, and education costs, to name a few. Rabbits were chased all over the restaurant during this session. Lazloffy ended by saying that our legislators, “need to be statesmen again if they are going to heal the rift that has separated us and work together,” to which we all concurred.
Montana Family Foundation will be promoting three events during the legislative session in 2017. The National School Choice Day Rally will be in Helena at the capitol, Jan. 25, at noon.
The Montana Pastors Network will be meeting together and with their legislators Jan. 17 in Helena and people are encouraged to invite their pastors to be involved.
The Right to Life March will be in downtown Billings on Sunday, Jan. 22, at 2 p.m., beginning at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Lazloffy will be one of the speakers at this event.
He encouraged everyone to get signed up on the Montana Family Foundation’s email list and to listen to the Montana Legislative Update which can be heard on KURL radio twice a day to keep informed on what is going on in Helena. Information can be gotten off of the Montana Family Foundation’s website at www.mtfamily.org 
The business meeting opened with both the Treasurer’s report and the Secretary’s minutes of the Nov. meeting being approved and next month’s activities being discussed.
Carbon County Central Committee will be meeting Jan 19. Call Scott Boggio for location at 670-7115.
The Stillwater CRW event, Politics and Eggs with guest speaker Alan Muskett (surgeon and author) will discuss, “Staying Alive, Solutions to All Life’s Problems,”  Sat, Feb. 4, 8 a.m. at the 307 Bar and Grill in Columbus. Call Shirlee Keffer at 322-6151 for reservations. It’s $15 for breakfast.
Big Sky Worldview Forum: Intelligent Design, Evolution, and the future of free and open science with Dr. Paul Nelson, Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute and Professor at Biola Univ. This event is Friday Jan. 27, 7-9 p.m., and Saturday, Jan 28, 9-11:30 a.m. Call Dick Pence at 534-2019 or visit BigSkyWorldview.org. Admission is $10 online or $12 at the door.
CCRW’s next meeting will be Feb. 1. If you are interested in attending or joining CCRW email Cynthia Marble with questions at cynthiamarble@gmail.com.     

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