Legislative session mid-point
The 2017 legislative session has reached its mid-point with the general bill transmittal deadline. Most bills had to have passed either the House or Senate to remain alive, the exceptions being revenue or appropriation bills, referenda, and study resolutions. While there have been fewer bills introduced than normal, it has been a busy session for me.
I am chairing the House State Administration Committee, which focuses on bills concerning pension plans, election law, veterans’ issues, and state employee issues. I also serve on the Human Services Committee, the Rules Committee, and the Local Government Committee, of which I am the Vice-Chair.
Bills I am carrying that have passed the House and made their way to the Senate include HB 245 and HB 507. Both of these bills are high priorities for me and are focused on streamlining the review of land use projects. HB 245 provides timelines for final subdivision plats, while HB 507 makes adjustments to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) subdivision review process to allow for more communication throughout the review. Both bills have wide support among stakeholders and passed the House with large bipartisan majorities.
Of course, a major issue this session has been the budget. The state is in a financial crisis. The reason for this is simple and unfortunate: the executive has mismanaged State resources. Government spending is out of control and has far outpaced additional revenues. We need to get government under control, spending where necessary and cutting where needed. I have remained steadfast in opposing tax increase proposals, since giving the government more money to mismanage is not a viable option. Government spending needs be controlled and reduced before additional taxes should even be considered.
Thanks again for your support and prayers during the session. I always value input from those I represent, whether you agree or disagree with my positions. The best way to contact me is by email at Rep.Forrest.Mandeville@mt.gov, or by phone at (406) 690-1933.
Forrest J. Mandeville
Representative, HD 57