Inside The Legislature

Wednesday, December 28, 2022
Inside The Legislature

TOM WELCH

This week, I would like to give you a quick, very general look into what a typical day at the Legislature looks like for me.

While in Helena during Session, I typically get up about 5:30am. Once I am prepared for the day, I join a few other Legislators for a quick breakfast and discussion. I then head to the Capitol at about 6:45am where I either attend a 7:15am Leadership meeting or I prepare for my first Committee of the day-that being the House Tax Committee which starts at 8am and ends between 11am and noon. Over lunch, I typically review Bills being heard on the House floor that afternoon, Bills that I am working on for various Committees or Bills being heard in upcoming days. The House Floor Session begins at 1pm daily and usually runs until 3pm or later. Following the Floor Session, I head to the Health and Human Services (H&HS) Committee meeting which runs daily from about 3-5pm. Following the adjournment of the H&HS Committee meeting, I spend time on reviewing upcoming Bills, working on my own Bills, addressing various constituent correspondence or catching up with Legislators or staff that I need to speak with. It is rare that I leave the Capitol before 6PM.

Some evenings I attend functions put on by various Trade Associations or groups participating in the Legislative process. I usually return to my room around 8pm at which time I call home and then again work on upcoming Legislation and constituent correspondence. My hope is to be in bed before 10:30pm. Long days! Every day is different yet the above information holds true for most days.

As I wrap up, I just want to mention that at the time of this writing, over 4200 Bill draft requests have been entered for the 2023 Legislative Session. This number far surpasses the 3300 Bill drafts requested for the entire 2021 Legislative Session with only about 1300 of those Bills actually being introduced.

I hope that this article as well as the previous ones have given you some insightful information about some of the workings of the Montana Legislature.

Best wishes for 2023!

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