The text of this radio broadcast is below:
Last week someone asked me how the legislative session was going and I said, to be honest it’s strange. Compared to previous sessions it’s been quiet. There seem to be fewer bills and a lot less contention.
I’ve been attributing that to the fact that the voters gave us a divided government. A House and Senate controlled by conservatives and a governor who’s a liberal. Lobbyists on both sides of the political spectrum have told me that they shelve their legislative agendas on election night because the handwriting was on the wall. Conservatives knew that the governor would veto their bills and liberals knew that their bills would die in committee, so why spend the money? Not a bad thing if you think about it. Fewer bills mean fewer laws and laws usually take away freedom. I was happy until this morning when I check my computer and found that we have eight bills scheduled for next week.
On Monday we begin the week with two important life bills. House Business and Labor begins with a bill to disallow lawsuits for wrongful life. While the concept of wrongful death has been around for centuries, the concept of wrongful life is brand-new. In Montana, it rose out of a case in Livingston where a couple sued several healthcare providers for failing to inform them of a blood test that could’ve told them that their unborn child had cystic fibrosis. They said that if they had known they would’ve had an abortion. This case is sad on so many levels. But, the bill up Monday would not allow people to sue for wrongful life. It’s a good bill and we will be there to support it. An hour later, Senate judiciary will hear a bill to legalize assisted suicide. This is a bad idea and we’ll do our best to see that that bill dies. In the afternoon we’ll testify in favor of two more bills that will set of education savings accounts and specialist scholarships for children with disabilities.
Tuesday we regroup and then Wednesday we hear a bill to allow healthcare sharing ministries. These are allowed under Obama care and they’re legal in every state except Montana. This same bill passed the legislature last session but was vetoed by Gov. Schweitzer when he added it to the list of bills that he called crazy. Hopefully this time it will pass.
On Thursday we hear two bills, one to abolish the death penalty and the other to force church run youth treatment programs to adopt state standards even though they don’t accept public dollars. The death penalty bill is one of those perennial bills that’s been around for at least 15 years that I know of, and its chances of making it out of the House Judiciary Committee are fairly slim. The regulation of church treatment programs is a bad idea that’s unconstitutional on at least three levels and we will do our best to kill it quickly. The final bill is one of my favorites and comes up Friday in House Judiciary. It’s a bill to change the parental notification for a minor seeking an abortion law, that the people just passed by 71%, into a parental consent law where at least one parent needs to give consent before an abortion can be performed on a child. We require this for every other medical procedure, so why is abortion any different? In the last session the notification law was also one of those that Gov. Schweitzer vetoed and thankfully his veto was overwritten by 71% of the people. Once again, we’re hoping Gov. Bullock shows more commonsense.