By Crystal Thompson
Senate Bill 259 (SB259), which would revise highway fencing requirements, namely, those associated with the construction of a fence in Beaver Creek Park, is on Governor Judy Martz' desk this week.
The bill, whose primary sponsor is Sen. Jon Tester, D-Big Sandy, had its first reading in the Montana Senate in January of this year. Since then, SB259 has passed all readings and committees unanimously in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Hill County Commissioner Kathy Bessette said that the commission, as well as the bill's local sponsors are optimistic that the Governor will sign SB259 into law, because the bill has had such unanimous approval in the legislature. "If (the votes) would have been closer, we'd worry about it more now," said Bessette.
According to current Montana Code, when reconstruction takes place in a state park, the area must be fenced. SB259 would allow Hill County to eliminate the construction of such a fence, provided certain safety restrictions are met which would mitigate hazards caused by cattle.
The complete text of the bill is available online at www.leg.state.mt.us.