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Harlem Sen. Kenneth “Kim” Hansen, a Democrat, is gearing up for another term in the state Legislature. Hansen is a native of Harlem and graduate of Montana State University-Northern, who began his political career on the Harlem School Board. From there, he moved to the Montana state Senate, where he served in 2003 and 2005. Committees Hansen served in the recent 59th Legislature were Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (chairman), Finance and Claims, Fish and Game and the Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural Resources and Commerce (vice chairman). All of these committees are very important to Hansen and the state of Montana. The whole Hi-Line is an agriculture community so his involvement with this committee served District 17 well. Hansen’s commodity bill, SB 51, was passed ensuring that commodity dealers assess, report or pay assessment and keep records for five years. Natural resources is very big in the area that he serves and last term, Hansen feels it was the natural resource committee that helped bring thousands of dollars to Montana. “A lot of people don’t like to serve on Fish and Game because it can be very contentious. I enjoy it because it gives me a foot in the door for hunting and fishing activities and regulations,” stated the senator. For the 2007 60th Legislative Session, Hansen has again been selected to sit on the Finance and Claims and Fish and Game committees. There have been some 1,900 introduced bills for the upcoming session, a few of which are already assigned bill numbers. The legislators were in attendance at the caucus two weeks ago and their committees were assigned the next day. “I have not introduced any bills ... up to this point. I am carrying some, Senate Bills 58 and 59, that are housed by different departments livestock and fish and game. I’m sure there will be more coming in. Primarily I guess what I see from last time is that it is the same song, second verse, because of the make up of the senate and the house. The first year we went in with a shortfall, of course this time, we are going in with a surplus. With that, we’ve got to cover things that we’ve already got in place, human services and that type. Of course the governor already has things that he wants to cover and I want to support him in some of the ways he wants to give back to the people,” Hansen said of his priorities for the upcoming session. Hansen is a proponent of no new taxes, stating that the legislation will not raise any new taxes which is always a concern among citizens. “I’m gonna fund what needs to be funded and education, as always, is gonna be a top priority,” Hansen said. “It will be with me, anyway. Economic development is something that is very important, as well. I believe that it should begin with the government supporting our young people going to school. Once they get a trade, that’s economic development.” Other concerns include keeping enough money for fire season, and making sure there is financial support for elderly people and handicapped. “We want to hit them all, K-12 to senior citizens,” Hansen said. Regardless of the fact that even though the democrats have the majority in the senate, Hansen feels his party has to reach across the aisles. Both parties must come together on all the issues or nothing will get done. He mentioned the control of the House. “You’re gonna see some squabbling there, but I think that in the end it will come together, we’ve done it before and we’ll do it again,” Hansen said. “I’m happy that we retained the majority it makes things a lot easier. It’s amazing to me that we get as much work done as we do in 90 days.” If people have a burning issue, Hansen promises to answer everyone who contacts him from District 17. He can be reached at 353-4941, 945-5778 or by e-mailing hansen_kenneth@email. Com.