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A timely (and hopefully entertaining) update (and unsolicited perspectives) provided by Shantil Siaperas–MACo Communications Director & Editor of MACo’s Legislative Update–to keep you apprised of what’s happening on the Hill during the 2023 Legislative Session.

An Update & Unsolicited Perspectives Provided by Shantil Siaperas, MACo Communications Director & Editor of MACo’s Legislative Update

MACo's Legislative Update

Volume 27, Issue 14
Published April 24, 2023
Published April 24, 2023
Volume 27, Issue 14

(If you’re not interested in the meandering thoughts of a rambling lobbyist and just want to checkout MACo’s Legislative Update, I sympathize. Click the button below for instant access to our fourteenth issue of the session.)

Access the 14th Issue Here
Continue Reading the Unsolicited Perspectives and Meandering Thoughts of a Rambling Lobbyist…

Are we there yet?

Well, hey there MACo Folks!

Happy Monday! It is Monday, right? Hard to tell since every Legislative Day (LD) feels like a Monday, and the closer we get to the end, the more all the Mondays meld together into one long heated HEL(ena) day.

And what’s worse? My mind has been infected by all the maniacal hot air accumulating under the Dome, and all I can think about is adjournment…and all I dream about are election bills and property tax bills and sometimes they meld together into one giant blob of horribly written election destroying reform legislation that’s being pushed by the very folks bringing all the bills to cut property taxes except THIS bill is hiding school funding via property tax increases through veiled statutes and long amendments during transmittal deadlines…and then the evil bill grows legs and chases me around with a hot poker until eventually my head literally explodes like confetti and the confetti is made up of mini malicious baby bills that take over the Capitol…

But then I wake up. And my head is in fact NOT exploded. And it’s just another Monday. And I am sad. I am sad, because I’m losing my MIND, and I can’t separate the nightmares from the dreams, AND IT’S STILL NOT SINE DIE.

(Inner Voice: I’m fine. It’s fine. Everything’s fine. Inhale. Exhale. Breeeeeaaaaathe……Nope. Not working. Drink your coffee and get on with the update…)

Great Expectations

Mr. Big Budget didn’t budge a bit

After a marathon of floor session’ing last week in an effort to meet the transmittal deadline for amended General Bills, everyone under the Dome was ready for the State’s Big Surplussed Budget Bill (HB 2) to swagger onto the Senate Floor and stay there all day Friday.

Unfortunately, the night prior, HB 5 (Long Range Appropriations) popped its mischievous little head up in the Senate Finance & Claims Committee for executive action and somehow cast a strange spell on committee members who threw conceptual amendments every which way until the Chair finally dropped the hammer (gavel), walked out, and subsequently cancelled Mr. Big Budget Bill’s prolonged floor party. (True facts.)

Grab a tissue and dry those tears. HB 2 is on the Senate Floor at 9 a.m. today (watch here).

The end is nigh…Right?

Yes. Hopefully…Yep…(insert side-eye)

One of the Legislature’s primary duties is to pass the State’s budget, and today, they are one step closer to checking that box. If the Senate passes HB 2 on 2nd reading today—which they will—they could maybe (and this is a big MAYBE) Sine Die as early as today.

I know. It sounds crazy. But it’s not.


Because we live in a literal twilight zone—complete with Legislative Twilight Time (LTT). If you’ve been under the Dome during a Legislative Session, you can feel it—the threshold warping time and space that exists between the doors of the Capitol Building and the outside world.

And, yes, the naked eye can clearly witness this terrifying spectacle. Simply stand in the breezeway and watch the heavy oak doors close. You’ll notice everything outside slows to a crawl, while things are mysteriously zooming around at light speed in the halls that lay before you.

Confused? I’ll make it worse…

Here’s an example of LTT that inevitably occurs near the end of every session:

It’s 11 a.m. on a Tuesday. You’re sitting in the House Gallery in your usual spot, when suddenly—with the slam of a gavel and the blink of an eye—it’s the next legislative day.

You look around. You’re still in the House Gallery. Sitting in the same spot. Wearing the same power suit and power tie as the previous legislative day. Still power-staring at a text to a fellow power lobbyist on your power phone.

“What the…[expletive]?!,” you think as you haphazardly rush down the ten thousand stairs to burst through the side door on the first floor into the bright outside light, only to see that it’s still 11 a.m. on a Tuesday…

Yep. Time warp. Weird. And now you’re sweaty. Good job. Back up those stairs, Sport!

So, see? Yes, we can definitely Sine Die today. The Senate just needs to pass HB 2 on 2nd Reading, suspend their rules, implement LTT, slam the gavel into the next Legislative Day, pass HB 2 on 3rd Reading, and motion Sine Die. Boom. Done.

(Now go forth and plant the seeds via your whispers, tiny birds. It’s time to go home.)

Final thoughts

And a disclaimer…

During these final days you can feel—and witness—the Dome’s magic spell at its most potent level. People are impatient. Everyone is exhausted. And a few folks grow little horns and tails.

And then there are those who decide not to “play the game” and instead be truthful and genuine, which is really very shocking at this stage, but it’s also revitalizing and contagious. Be that person. Keep your head up, your integrity high, and don’t let these final days break you.

PS – 11 Legislative Days remaining…

Disclaimer: Earlier in this writing, I describe the doors in the Capitol Building as oak…and I truthfully have no idea if the doors are oak. And I’m not spending any time fact-checking that detail. And I’m also not apologizing for it. Hope that’s okay. If not, click here to file a complaint with my boss.

And Don’t Forget…

If you find yourself on uneven footing during the legislative session at any time, no worries. We’re here to help keep you apprised of what’s happening on the hill. Every week until Sine Die during these trying and perplexing times (i.e., the Legislative Session), we’ll be releasing a new issue of the MACo Legislative Update (linked below and above).

Each issue always has an up-to-date session calendar, an easy-to-print bill hearings schedule for the upcoming week, and the status of all the bills we’re currently watching as well as those in which we’re actively involved. Click the button below to check out the new issue.

Pro Tip: Our website’s hearing schedule is updated daily, with new hearings added as the week progresses, so be sure to check it out! It also has links to testify remotely and/or submit written public comment as well as watch legislative bill hearings.

For other pertinent information regarding the legislative session, visit the policy section of our website.

That’s all for now! See you either virtually via the internet highway or in the halls!

(the end…of the update, not the session, obvi)


Eric Bryson

Executive Director
Phone: 406-461-2084

Jason Rittal

Deputy Director

Karen Alley

Associate General Counsel
Phone: 406-441-5472

Shantil Siaperas

Communications Director
Phone: 406-925-1134