From Senator Mike Lang On SD 17
February 24, 2021
Feb 21, 2021
Moving of bills has been slow. We are required by law to have the Senate bills referred to the House at the end of the 45th day, March 3rd. Committees and the floor sessions will be long for the next 10 days.
Little fun on the floor today. The State Tax Appeal Board (STAB) got Senate approval to become the Montana Tax Appeal Board.
The Treasure State Endowment Program is now the Montana Coal Endowment Program. TSEP, now called MCEP is from the production of Montana coal. Fund is down $30M this year, but permanent balance is $1,106 B. $46M will be spent in the 22/23 biennium on Montana. Thank a Montana Coal miner.
We passed out over to the House that the governor may not suspend a statute that affects the exercise of an individual's constitutional rights under the US and or Montana constitutions. Another bill requires the Governor to poll the Legislature regarding continuing emergency or disaster declarations. These bills pertain to a pandemic order.
In Finance and Claims, we supported the Governor's funding request of $2.5M/year. We are trying to create a "competitive base pay" for new teachers. I also have SB 188, if it passes, which will increase the years a retired teacher can re-employ to a school district. We need to fill the pipeline of new teachers and encourage them to teach in Eastern MT.
Business equipment deduction has been increased to $200K.
SB 180 is a soil bill. While I support healthy soil, I cannot support the structure of bill. It is a message to agriculture to promote how we improve the soil of cropland and rangeland with management and rotation plans.
Conservation Districts supported HJ 7 for the fund and repair the St. Mary Diversion. HJ 7 also asks Congress to reformulate the cost share formula.
Go to mtleg.gov and follow the 67th Montana Legislature.
Senator Mike Lang
MT SD 17
Blaine, Hill, Daniels, Phillips, Roosevelt, Sheridan and Valley Counties
PO Box 104
Malta, MT 59538