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Every two years, our citizen legislature meets for 90 days. As your state senator, I wanted to update you on the start of the legislative session, share some perspective on the first days, and let you know how we can stay in touch and engaged over the upcoming months.

So far, legislators have maintained a civil approach to one another and with the new governor, Steve Bullock. Even when differences emerge, I hope that civility continues to prevail. Over the upcoming months, you'll be hearing a lot from me about making sure we pass a balanced budget, that our tax system is fair for working families, and that our public services are managed to benefit the public and taxpayers of our state.

In the Senate Taxation Committee, we have just completed our work on the revenue estimate for the coming two-year period. Over a three-day set of hearings, we heard information from legislative staff and the governor's office about the revenue we can expect for the next two years. Unlike last session, when the estimate from the executive and legislative agencies were vastly different and became politically charged, this session the differences were narrow and we were able to adopt a revenue estimate without a political or partisan battle.

I'm interested in listening to your thoughts and ideas on the legislative process. Your input ensures that citizens continue to run our democracy.

Please email me online at, call me at 444-4800, or write me at Montana State Senate, P O Box 200500, Helena, MT 59620.

Thanks for reading — until next time.

(State Sen. Greg Jergeson, D-Chinook, represents northern Blaine and Hill counties, from Chinook represents SD 17, which includes Hill and Blaine counties.)

(The Havre Daily News has offered space to lawmakers from the Hi-Line to explain their thoughts and views. Several have indicated they will offer columns.)


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