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Priorities on Parade

Our new Montana House Speaker, Mike Milburn (R), Cascade is ready to get down to the serious work of governing. In a recent article our new speaker reiterated that the focus of Montana GOP leaders in the forthcoming legislative session will be to get Montana’s fiscal house in order. “Milburn said fiscal issues like cutting spending and reducing taxes while spurring the economy by easing environmental restrictions are what voters wanted. “That’s our focus, in those areas,” he said.

Ah, but remember, these are Republicans we are talking about. Sixteen years ago they won big majorities in the legislature as well on the same promises. They held 67 of 100 House seats and 31 of 50 state Senate seats. In 1995, the GOP turned away federal funding, eased environmental regulations and gave big tax breaks to businesses. Their big fiscal push was to save money by jailing gays convicted of homosexual acts.  Their entire agenda mostly failed due to a fuzzy focus on stupid social issues. But, this time it’s different. There will be a strict focus on fiscal responsibility. Ah, but…

In the Missoulian on Wednesday: GOP lawmakers to introduce anti-abortion bills

So far, Republican lawmakers have asked for these bills to be drafted:

  • Rep. Keith Regier of Kalispell, to criminalize the death of an unborn child.
  • Sen. Jim Shockley of Victor, to require girls younger than 16 to get parental permission to have an abortion.
  • Rep. Wendy Warburton of Havre, to amend the state Constitution to define a person by declaring that human life begins when an egg is fertilized.
  • Rep.-elect Alan Hale of Basin, to revise health laws regarding abortion.
  • Rep. Cary Smith of Billings, to regulate family planning and abortion clinics.
  • Rep. Pat Ingraham of Thompson Falls, to require women to have an ultrasound before an abortion.
  • Rep. Mike More of Gallatin Gateway, to provide abortion screening to prevent provider negligence and patient coercion.

Well, so much for maintaining focus. Damn the economy, full speed ahead! But, then you didn’t really expect any different did you?

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