Senator Lang Reports From Legislature
To Sen. Dist. 17 1-20-2023
We just completed our 15th day in this 68th Montana Legislature.
The halls are full of lobbyists and Montana citizens. Committees are processing bills in both the House and the Senate. The largest group of bills has come from the Montana agencies. These “red tape” bills will reduce the governmental process. The administration is very customer-orientated, but the government still is hard to communicate with and get answers as fast and definitive as citizens desire. We have approximately 70 “Red Tape” bills that should make the process better.
As you have heard, there is a very large state budget surplus of at least $2.4 Billion dollars. Income tax. The largest majority of this surplus came from income taxes. Those who moved to Montana were high-income earners.
As I have said before, we need to take care of the needs first. A good start would be long-term care financing that works so this system can stay operational. The session can last up to 90 days as per the Montana Constitution.
Our work will be very demanding as we debate and vote on citizen issues; highway, local and state infrastructure; health and mental care and increasing or maintaining funds for a rainy day.
Public employee investment will increase, as inflation has reduced the purchasing power of money. If we want services from public employees, we should pay for them. I prefer that these increases will be done with set value increases, not a percentage of an employee’s salary.
Eastern Montana has a strong voice in the 68th Legislature. From the Sweet Grass Hills, Billings, Colstrip, and Ekalaka to North Dakota and Canadian borders, this large area is a strong voice for common sense and practical ideas. Our objective is to promote our local business, natural resources, and agriculture. Every standing committee of this 68th Legislature has a member from the above area. You can find details at: https://leg.mt.gov/committees
Representative Rhonda Knudsen, Culbertson, and Senator Ken Bogner, Miles City serve as Pro Tempore of the House and Senate respectively. I serve as a member of Senate Finance and Claims, Long Range planning & budget, Natural Resources, and the Committee on Committees. I am chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation and Legislative Administration.
You can go to: https://leg.mt.gov/ and there you can watch and listen to committees either live or archived.
Another website that will provide a path to current daily legislation and registering to testify remotely is: https://leg.mt.gov/public-testimony/
The best way to reach me is text to 406-654-7357 or email [email protected]
Gratefully, Senator Mike Lang, Malta