Our voices make a difference, and members testifying before our legislature has been a part of Northern Plains work since our founding. Below are a couple of excerpts from member testimony in Helena this week.
Helena member Roxa Reller testified on HB 220, a bad bill sponsored by Rep. Josh Kassmier (R- Fort Benton) that would give utility corporations more power and influence over Montana’s energy planning:
“In the past, we’ve known Montana’s utilities to put their finger on the scales when selecting the most affordable and reliable power generation resources to buy and construct in Montana… For many Montanans, utility bills have doubled within the last year. As captive customers, Montanans deserve a resource planning and procurement process that balances the interests of the utility with those of the customer.”
Miles City member Deborah Hanson testified on HB 915, a bad bill sponsored by Rep. Bill Mercer (R- Billings) that seeks to remove Montana citizens’ Constitutional right to vote for state Supreme Court judges in favor of giving a politician – the Governor – the power to appoint judges:
We Montanans are united as demonstrated by a recent poll made up of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents where 92% supported our citizen right to vote for our Supreme Court Judges … This bill violates the separation of powers. To quote Alexander Hamilton, ‘There is no liberty if the power of judging be not separated from the legislative and executive powers.’”