Friday, April 23, 2021

Mitchell talks session

| March 10, 2021 6:55 AM

We are officially halfway through the 67th legislative session, and we are fulfilling the Conservative-Republican mandate that House District 3 and Montanan’s set in November.

Several key pieces of legislation have been signed into law as well as lifting the state’s “Mask Mandate.” These include House Bill (HB) 102 which expands the right to self-defense and Senate Bill 65 which prevents frivolous COVID-19 lawsuits allowing Montana’s economy to safely open up. Bills to strengthen jobs and the economy that have passed the House include HB 303 to increase the business equipment tax exemption and HB 252 which creates employer tax credits for career and technical education opportunities. Addressing health care, we passed HB 43 to expand tele-health and HB 231 to eliminate burdensome certificate of need laws. The House has worked to rein in local and state health emergency powers by passing HB’s 230 and 121. These bills require the Legislature to be involved with emergency declarations at the state level and elected officials at the local level. Both protect religious activities during emergency declarations. We also passed through

the house HB 112 that will prohibit transgender’s born as men to participate in women’s sports. This is an issue many in House District 3 reached out in support of, and I was proud to vote in favor of the measure to protect the longevity of WildCKat sports.

We are protecting Montana’s checkbook by critically reviewing state agency budgets. We have passed responsible tax cuts that will spur economic growth. Legislation is headed to the governor which expands individual rights and freedoms. Bills to reform the FWP, DNRC, and provide additional outdoor opportunities are moving forward.

Education and health care reform packages are going to expand options for Montana families to stay healthy and succeed.

Finally, House Republicans have blocked numerous bad left-wing bills which would raise taxes, hurt jobs and weaken our local economies.

In the second half of the legislative session, we will be focused on passing a conservative state budget for the coming biennium. The Appropriations Subcommittees

are finishing their reviews of state agency budgets and will come together after transmittal to begin crafting House Bill 2 which is the state’s budget.

I’ve appreciated the thousands of emails and texts in support of our efforts in Helena, especially in the past few weeks. It’s been my honor to serve as your voice in Helena, through the first half of the session, and serve as the voice for everyone in the district. I have voted 89% of the time in the majority, 94% with Republicans, and 63% with the Democrats. In times like these it’s important to work across the aisle and I’ve proven my ability to do so. I’m looking forward to the second half of the session!

Braxton Mitchell, House District 3 Representative