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Legislature finishes Week 6

 

Last updated 2/16/2021 at 9:50am



We just finished our 30th day of the 67th Legislature, making one third of this biennium session complete. The bills have been coming slower than normal, maybe because of COVID, the fact that two thirds of Democrats are Zooming, or folks are just not introducing polarizing or irrelevant bills. No one knows the “why” to that question; I am hoping it is the decision to focus on the important things, like putting people to work. Also, making sure all opportunities for the best education is available for the type of instruction one may want or need.

In our Education Committee, we heard a bill to incentivize employers who choose to help pay for their employee’s education. This could pay for past student debt or for continuing education. I see some real opportunities here as many folks have to end their education early because of lack of funds to complete the program they may be in or they graduate and go out into the workforce with historically high school loans.

My Senate Tax Committee heard a series of Gov. greg Gianforte’s Montana Comeback Plan tax proposal bills. Senate Bill 181 will take businesses doing business in multiple states, including Montana, to a single factor as opposed to the three-tier factor system used now by Montana’s Department of Revenue. I am not even going to try to explain how it all works, but as I understand it, the one factor system will, in fact, pick up taxes from businesses from other states who are doing business in Montana. If you have received a box on your porch or in the mail, you can guess who should be paying some Montana taxes in place of you. Senate Bills 181, 182, and 184 are all bills to change the Montana tax structure to encourage businesses to come to Montana with their employees in hopes of having more people paying more of Montana’s taxes.

Judy and I are limiting our participation in extracurricular activities as best we can for health reasons. To get information and keep up with all the bills coming out of other committees, I often have to get information from other legislators, staffers, constituents, or trusted lobbies. I do have concerns for my health, along with the health of others. To do the job I was elected for, I feel I must make the responsible choices for my comfort level. If you call and my voicemailbox is full, please try again. I cannot keep up with it but am thankful for you continuing to let me know how these bills may affect your work and life. Email with your town name in subject line, which helps in sorting. Stay Safe!

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

 
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