Rep. Ricci on week three in Helena

Guest Commentary
By: 
Rep. Vince Ricci
Montana House District 55

And another week in the Capitol is behind us. The workload is picking up with committees hearing new bills every day. Some bills survive the committee to be heard on the floor of the house, but many don’t make it out of committee. One bill that didn’t make it out of committee is the primary seat belt law; it looks like legislators will have to wait for another session to try again. H.B. 24 is one that will be heard on the House floor next week. It will provide protections from financial exploitations from people that are put in authority to protect vulnerable people. Others are tabled to possibly be ​looked at again later in the session.
The budget is still the looming problem facing the state. The only good thing out of this budget crunch is there is less conflict, everyone knows there is no money for big projects. So the legislature has to find a way to balance the budget with declining revenues. The shortfall that was putting federal highway money in jeopardy apparently has at least temporally been solved. The state had a $10 million Medicaid reimbursement that is being loaned for the highway projects. I am not sure loaning money from Medicaid to fund highways is proper, but apparently the governor does.
In closing, there is going to be a bill brought forward to raise the gas tax 10 cents a gallon. What do you think? I would like your feedback on this issue. Email me at rep.vince.ricci@mt.gov

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Saturday, April 20, 2019
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Tuesday, April 23, 2019
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Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.

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