Wednesday, February 10, 2021

To the editor,

Elections have consequences. Truth or consequences? Unintended consequences? All are apparent at the 67th Legislature dominated by the Republican party’s extreme right-wing of their caucus.

If you have not been following the laws that are considered “mandated” by this group, you might find your personal lives greatly altered. As women, you will discover your private decisions about your own body and your doctor are not yours but the “mandates” of the GOP. If you are a hunter, your opportunity to hunt could be limited by guaranteed licenses by those willing to pay for expanded outfitting. If you are a student receiving health education in school, your teacher may not be able to give you that unless your parent allows him/her to do so. If you are a voter, several bills are already on their way to restricting you ability to vote.

A biologist (?) lawmaker is pushing a bill to allow trapping/killing of wolves during gestation periods. Though there is no sanctuary city or town in Montana, those fearful legislators have a bill that would preclude either entity to do their own local government option of creating one--the sponsors cry that no racism is involved although we all know non-white citizens are their targeted purpose.

Health protection decisions? Forget the health experts--give decision power to county commissioners! The GOP mantra of “local control” is corrupted to their ideological agenda, such as taking the power to overrule the university systems’ safety measures concerning gun control; changing the role of FWP’s approval of easements and acquisitions to the Land Board; harmful right-to-work legislation. But some of the worst are yet to come: the Governor’s inequitable tax reform--read it and see where the rich get richer, pay less, and you do not. If passed consequences could make Montana look like the mess Kansas was in after a GOP routing several years ago. Then there is the bill that would give the Governor the ability to appoint judges rather than our now working judicial nomination process. Montanans will wake up to the next year or two and wonder what happened when these guys take away their local control and impose their ‘mandates’.

In contrast, the 1/3-member minority Democrats are proposing numerous bills that are meant to improve the lives of Montanans, all available on the Montana Legislative Session 2021 web site. Contrast these issues against the extreme ideology of the GOP. Pay attention to these power grabbers and contact your representative to assure your own consequences.

Pat Bradley Twin Bridges

Twin Bridges