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Legislature passes through Week 5


Last updated 2/9/2021 at 8:31am

This week, many of the Governors Board appointees have come to the different committees. In the Energy Committee, we confirmed the new members of the Hard Rock Mining Board, the Coal Board, the Pacific NW Electric Power and Conservation Planning, and the Board of Oil and Gas Conservation, of which a local young man from Shelby was nominated by the governor and confirmed by the Senate. Congratulations go to Mac McDermott; I am looking forward to hearing from him on energy issues. These boards are made up of folks who have experience in the subject matter of the board. They meet as a group to help develop and advise on government policy. Many of the committees appoint individuals to different boards relevant to their work. As is the case with the Livestock Board, to which Doreen Gillespie was just re-appointed. If you are in the livestock business, you no doubt have met Doreen, a rancher from the Kevin-Ethridge area.

A bill this week in Education Committee that brought the most attention, proponents, and many more opponents was SB 99, introduced by Sen. Smith. The idea of the bill is to have parents more involved in the school’s sex education programs by signing permission slips to opt-in, as opposed to what most schools do now having parents opt-out with permission slips. This bill was first introduced in 2011 and again in 2019. Both times it was vetoed by then-governors. After hearing from many school folks, teachers, administration, and student groups, it seems the issues the bill addresses, for the most part, has been fixed over the years.

Another bill, SB 93, was introduced, which would create an elected position for election administrator in each county. This position is currently covered for the most part by county clerk and recorders and their staff. The cost of this bill could have caused real financial issues for smaller counties. I am not sure every small county contacted me, but between emails, calls, and messages, they made it very clear it was not a good bill for my district. You can thank the county folks for watching these types of bills that affect county government and your tax dollar.

I also want to thank commissioners, treasurers, road folks, clerks and my other constituents for all your calls, emails, and information provided. It is tough keeping up with all the moving parts. Fortunately, I am in an office with Sen. Mike Lang from Malta. He is on three committees different than my committees, which makes six committees we can share information about and current bills. If you email please put the name of your town in the subject up front it helps me sort the mail. Again, stay safe


People can email state Sen. Russ Tempel, R-Chester, at [email protected] .


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