Friday, July 19, 2024

Politicians must be held accountable for their decisions

| June 21, 2024 7:00 AM

This past state legislative session, a unique and rare coalition of Montanans came together in support of SB 442. 

Sponsored by State Senator Mike Lang (R-Malta), SB 442 used the budget surplus from marijuana tax revenue to fund county road repair and construction, provide permanent property tax relief to disabled veterans or their widowed spouses, increase funding for addiction rehabilitation services, and create robust conservation tools to protect land and water habitat.  

Unfortunately, this popular bill was vetoed by our Governor in the 11th hour of the legislature, and our legislators failed to override the veto. The Montana Association of Counties, which advocates for our county leaders at the legislature, stated that “No Governor in the history of Montana has ever taken such a state-centric position that blatantly disregards the needs of Montanans.” 

Farmers, ranchers, rural law enforcement and medical personnel, veterans, as well and hunters and anglers would have all benefited from this bill.

It is important that when our leaders are out of step with the people they serve, that we the people hold them accountable.

I encourage our leaders to listen to the majority of Montanans, and support similar legislation should it arise in the coming 2025 legislature.  

Margo Hunter, Bigfork