Time to Mail Your Dues!
Annual membership for 2021: $15/person
Sanders County Democrats
P.O. Box 1491
Thompson Falls, MT 59873
Or pay on-line:
Act Blue Sanders County Democrats
Thank you for your support!
Sanders County Democrats
April 6, 2021
Join us in Promoting Democratic Values
Want to connect with like-minded Dems across our County? Join us for our Membership Meeting; we’ve got lots to share about upcoming events in which to participate:
Save the Date! April 18 at 2 PM
Join with like-minded folks at our upcoming Membership Meeting via Zoom.
Look for an email with the agenda and Zoom link on Tuesday, April 13th. If you prefer, call Mindy Ferrell to get the Zoom information. Her landline: 406-827-4341 (no text messaging available).
We’ll start with our brief bi-annual County Convention to elect the Sanders County Democratic Central Committee Board. This will be followed by our Quarterly Membership Meeting to:
Discuss recent projects and activities
Share our spring and summer calendar of events
Ask for your ideas and input to make SCDems your outreach organization.
Your stimulus check and The American Rescue Plan. Most of us have recently received our $1400 stimulus checks. If you feel you may want to help support others with your unexpected bonus, please consider giving as generously as you can to those folks in Sanders County in need. You can find a list of local organizations who could use a boost from you here. Thank you to the Sanders County Ledger who creates this list every December.
Click here for more information on the Membership Meeting, the American Rescue Plan, and our continuing Membership Drive.
April 6, 2021
Sanders County Democrats
Legislature Update Week 14
Keep Making Noise!
The session ends at the end of this month. We will live with these laws and budgets for 2 years. There are not as many committee comments to make, but there are several bad, bad bills that need to have some noise from you. Please open the attached link to the Week 14 Legislative Update and connect with our legislators (or committees) as indicated. We need your voice!
These bills are up for committee vote as indicated. Links to mail and phone numbers are below.
Oppose! These are big bills that need your voice! (Contact link is below)
SB 260: This bill expands the “takings provision” of the Montana Constitution in a way that would require our state budget to reimburse anyone who feels a governmental regulation reduces their income by 25% or more (think emission limits, or limits to fish or game harvest, reduced business hours, noise ordinances, or zoning, or…). It could lead to a total lack of regulation, because it will be easier for governments not to enforce laws than to pay out all the claims that could arise. This is dangerous for provisions that protect your health, safety, and the environment. Here's an op-ed from MEIC Board Member Steve Gilbert that sums up how this "untethered" takings bill threatens just about everything we care about. In addition, the amended bill now holds each County liable if an individual’s income is reduced by 25% or more because of County regulatory decisions. Contact your House Rep (yes, do!) for the upcoming, currently unscheduled House Floor vote. Also contact Senator Brown who will have to concur the amendments on the Senate Floor if the House votes ‘yes’.
SB 379: this is the big, bad energy bill of the session that could cost NorthWestern customers more than $1 billion. The Senate Energy Committee amended the bill and passed it, but the new language is vague and largely window dressing. At best, the amended bill will allow NorthWestern to argue that the Public Service Commision (PSC) has no ability to limit what it charges customers for more of Colstrip. At worst, the bill remains more than a billion dollar bailout for NorthWestern. Should you wish, you can see MEIC's latest fact sheet Contact Senator Brown (and message the full Senate) to oppose!
HB 448: This was a good bill that would have allowed the rooftop solar industry to flourish, but it has been hijacked by NorthWestern Energy. Now, the bill would jeopardize the rooftop solar industry by forcing the PSC to change the rates for rooftop solar customers, even though they are paying their fair share to the grid already. Contact Senator Brown and your Representative, send a message to the Governor to oppose HB 448.
HB 695: This would allow state agencies to require fees be paid by anyone wishing to comment on an environmental analysis under the Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA). If a state agency requires a fee, it may not accept public comments without the fee. Clearly public involvement in this process should remain free to incorporate the public’s concerns about their health, property, livelihoods, and environment. Denley Loge brought this bill forward, and it should be stopped now. Read more here: Read more here. Contact your Representative (especially Loge) to oppose.
UPDATE: HB 695, introduced by Rep. Loge (R - St. Regis), would have limited public land owners from offering public comment on environmental impact statements unless they potentially paid to do so. By granting state agencies the ability to charge persons or organizations a fee for delivering public comments, the bill attacked the very fundamental core of our democracy: public participation. Montanans deserve a voice in natural resources decisions WITHOUT having to pay. The bill was amended heavily yesterday on the House Floor and all of our concerns were addressed; the language regarding allowing fees for public comments was amended out. We'll continue to track HB 695, but for now we should definitely chalk this up as another win.
SB 278: could have an end-game of shutting down non-profits by changing the way they would need to report any legal fees for supporting or opposing government action. It would change the required reporting of those fees to be non-exempt funds which would threaten the not-for-profit status of 501(c)3 organizations. Not only will this effect environmental organizations, but think of CASA not being able to hire lawyers, or our own Paradise Center a liability issue was involved? This just passed 2nd reading on the House Floor. Call or message your Representatives to oppose this today.
These bills are up for floor vote, so you would need to contact Sen. Brown, or Rep Loge or Fielder directly.
Important Links for public input:
Here is the link to submit written comment (especially good at Committee level: https://leg.mt.gov/web-messaging/
Here is a link where you can provide public testimony (Note: must request to testify by noon the day before a bill is heard in committee) https://leg.mt.gov/public-testimony/
To email your elected representatives: https://leg.mt.gov/web-messaging/
Call the Capitol switchboard and request comments be given. You may list up to 4 legislators/bills/or committees in one phone call. (406)-444-4800.
From the Montana Free Press
MTFP has created a podcast and summary of the week:
In addition to the Montana Legislative Home Page, we want to thank Montana Free Press to creating this fabulously useful site, MTFP Capital Tracker: https://apps.montanafreepress.org/capitol-tracker-2021/
If not you, then who?
If not now, then when?
Mindy Ferrell, Chair
Annual membership for 2021: $15/person Sanders County Democrats P.O. Box 1491 Thompson Falls, MT 59873
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, organized citizens
can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
~ Margaret Mead
Sanders County Democrats
In pursuit of Justice, the Sanders County Democrats (hereafter referred to as SCD), will:
Promote active engagement and service on common ground issues;
Strive for unity as we provide honest and true information related to Local, State and National legislation;
Participate in coordinated efforts in elections for candidates at the Local, State, and National levels reflecting Democratic values.
Self Governance Agreements:
Support Sanders County and Its Citizens
Organizational Objectives and Structure
The previously separated Sanders County Democrats and the Sanders County Democratic Central Committee will be joined into one entity. We wish to promote the values expressed in the Montana Democratic Party Platform through social and educational means. In particular, we wish to focus our attention and effort toward achieving platform objectives in the following areas of interest:
Human and Civil Rights, that supports justice and equality of opportunity for all
Veterans Affairs, that honors and provides for active Military as well as Veterans
Public Education, that provides equitable educational opportunity and funding
Health and Human Services, that ensures quality of life for all
Public Lands, including hunting, fishing, and recreational access along with stewardship of our natural resources
Energy Policies, that promote sustainability and confronts global climate change
Good Government, that provides for needed infrastructure for community, commerce, and culture
Click here to download or view a copy of our Brochure. It contains a lot of information about our group and activities.
Contact us: email@example.com