The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Matt Rosendale
State Senator District 18 

Majority Leader Rosendale Reviews Opening Week


The 64th Legislature began last week with the formal ceremonies and swearing in that surround each new legislature. It is always a treat to see all of the families and children sitting in the galleries and walking in the halls. Many will endure weeks of separation so that their loved ones may spend the next 4 months doing their very best to serve the state.

The first order of business that we took up in the Senate was to confirm Sen. Debby Barrett (R) from Dillon, as the first woman to serve as the president of the Montana State Senate. I was honored to nominate Sen. Barrett for this position during our caucus elections in November. She is a rancher with a keen sense of business and a steady hand. Sen. Barrett has served as the president pro tempore in the House and Senate. I have been working very close with her for the last several months in conjunction with the House leadership and we have developed an “Action Plan” to be utilized by the Republicans in both chambers. The plan consists of four areas that we republicans will focus on during this session.

• Strengthen jobs and the economy. Make Montana a better place to live, work and do business.

• Put students and parents first. Stand up for families by providing the educational tools needed for individual success.

• Safeguard healthcare options. Build a stable healthcare system that Montanans can count on for the long term.

• Protect rights and individual freedom. Preserve the line separating personal freedom from government intrusion.

My staff and I have been scouring the many bills draft requests and meeting with legislators to determine which proposed pieces of legislation best represent these concepts. We will attempt to determine which bills have the most support and prioritize them as we move forward.

Eastern Montana will be well represented this session as many of the leadership roles in the House and Senate have been filled by legislators from east of Billings. In addition to my election as majority leader in the Senate, Sen. Moore from Miles City was elected as president pro tempore and in the House Rep. Knudsen from Culbertson was elected as speaker of the House, Rep. Randall from Broadus was elected as speaker pro tempore and Rep. Doane fromGlendive was elected as a whip.

We have adopted the rules that the Senate will use to govern our procedures and expect to adopt the joint rules next week which govern the work conducted between the House and Senate. Several of the committees have had organizational meetings and a few have held some hearings. All of the standing committees will start holding hearings next week.

Similar to last session, I will serve on Finance and Claims this session and my joint subcommittee will be Natural Resources and Transportation. In addition to my committee work, I will work with the president and Sen. Moore to schedule bills for the floor sessions and assist other Republican Senators with their legislation.

Finally, I had a short but cordial meeting with Gov. Bullock. President Barrett and Sen. Moore joined me, and we had a pleasant visit. We did not discuss any particular issue or policy, but I would like to think we began to lay the foundation for a constructive dialogue in the future which will benefit all Montanans.

During the session you may leave a message for me at 406-444-4800 or email at


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