Notes from Helena: Life is busy at the Capitol!

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Senate Joint Resolution 6 asks Congress to delist the Grizzly statewide, and I will present SJR 6 to the Senate Fish and Game Committee on Thursday, Feb. 14 at 3 p.m.

Similar to the resolution carried last session by Rep. Steve Gunderson, it has generated much popular support in this 66th Montana Legislative Session. I helped develop it in 2017 and am proud to carry it in 2019.

As vice chair of the budget subcommittee for Long Range Planning, I heard major infrastructure projects from all over Montana, including the Libby water distribution project, Eureka water filtration, Tobacco River restoration, and the Mud Creek restoration south of Eureka. We are at the first step in the process, but these projects ranked well.

This week I testified in support of Rep. Gunderson’s bill for the continuing asbestosis program at Libby, and I also spoke for state funding for the Good Neighbor Authority, which includes the U.S. Forest Service and Lincoln County working with the state to bring better forest health and timber jobs.

This is the kind of legislation that brought me to the legislature. Commissioner Mark Peck was here to support both bills.

Aquatic Invasive Species prevention is big in my world, and AIS begins Monday, Feb. 4.

I finished a hectic first month by chairing the “Committee as a Whole” during second reading of bills on Friday, Feb. 1. It was the busiest day yet, with a mix of Senate Bills, House Bills, and resolutions, all of which call for different language by the presiding officer. It was my first experience of running the Senate floor, although I had done it in the House.

My committee assignments are Senate Finance and Claims and the subcommittee for Long Range Planning, plus policy committees for State Administration and Energy and Telecommunications. I maintain close contact with Representatives Neil Duram and Gunderson. We all have major legislation in play with more to come.

Reach me at Mike.Cuffe@mtleg.gov; mcuffe@interbel.net, or 1-406-293-1247.

— Sen. Mike Cuffe

Senate District 1

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