The Reader’s Viewpoint - January 31, 2019

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Rep. Ricci writes from Helena

Week three is complete at the Legislature in Helena and things are starting to move along nicely. The prior two sessions I have been in Helena State employee pay plan always seems to be difficult. This year Republican legislators requested negotiations between public employees union and the Governor’s office include a flat dollar amount for increases instead of a percentage. The reason we wanted a flat dollar amount is that we wanted to target middle and lower end wage earners instead of the higher wage earners. 1% of $90,000/yr is more that 1% of $35,000/yr. This allows middle and lower end wage earners more money in their checks. The bill sponsoring this cleared the House floor and Friday. I am carrying House Bill 86 for Attorney General Tim Fox which hopefully will help address the opioid crisis we have in Montana. It was passed out of committee and will be on the House floor next week. If you have ever wondered what is like at the State capitol during legislative session you should come and see. On February 1st Republicans are hosting “Capitol Day”. There will be lots of activities for you to watch or participate in. You can observe committee meetings, and even testify at committee meetings if you are so inclined. You can observe the House floor session from the gallery. Also, Senator Steve Daines will be here to address the legislature at 1 p.m. There will be free lunch provided at noon. If you have a chance it would be great to see you there. Rep Vince Ricci Laurel



Columnists and newspaper editors

It has been said that a newspaper’s greatest asset is a good columnist. I think a writer should be judged on the accuracy of the facts and statistics they present while expressing their opinions. I suspect a newspaper editor’s job isn’t always easy but they should be accountable for the credibility, fairness, and accuracy of everything that gets published. Lately, I’ve been noticing some editor’s notes after articles in the Laurel Outlook which gives balance to the information. I know sometimes people think their opinions are fact, but we are all capable of being wrong. I believe that free speech and a free press come with personal obligations as well as an attempt to maintain a code of ethics. I encourage everyone to question what you hear, see and read, be it on TV, the web or the newspaper. Sadly people knowingly or unknowingly do pass on misinformation. In the end it is of course up to each and every one of us to decide who and what to believe which unfortunately has become more difficult than ever. Rest assured the press is not the enemy.

Barbara A.S. Emineth Laurel



Tanning beds cause cancer

While Montana continues to make progress in enacting policies to reduce the incidence of death from cancer, we’re still falling short when it comes to protecting minors from the dangers of indoor tanning. Skin cancer rates have significantly increased over the past 30 years, making skin cancer the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. The research is clear: tanning beds increase the risk of skin cancer and use before the age of 35 increases melanoma risk by 59 percent. As a melanoma cancer survivor, I know how devastating the disease can be.  I urge lawmakers to act and prohibit the use of tanning beds for those under age 18. Just as we protect our young people from the serious dangers of cigarettes and alcohol, Montana has the opportunity and responsibility to protect our kids from the dangers of tanning beds.

Mary Lou Smarsh American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network volunteer

Upcoming Events

Monday, August 17, 2020
Third Mondays, 11 a.m., Laurel Public Library
Monday, August 17, 2020
Mondays, 1:30 p.m., 201 1/2 E Main St.
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
1st and 3rd Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Council Chambers
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Wednesdays, 7 p.m., 201 1/2 E. Main St., Laurel
Thursday, August 20, 2020
3rd Thursday, 9:30 a.m., Public Works Conference Room
Monday, August 24, 2020
4th Monday, 6 p.m., Council Chamber


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The Laurel Outlook


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