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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 6
Published February 13, 2023
Published February 13, 2023
Volume 27, Issue 6

(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 first issue of the session.)

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

Well, hey there MACo Folks!

Because I’m Washington, D.C., this week’s intro to our Legislative Update (linked above and below) will be short and sweet…emphasis on sweet since tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.

Sooooo, grab some tea or coffee and maybe a few little heart-shaped chocolates or a donut with pink icing, sit back in that comfy creaky work chair, and enjoy this small gift from me to you.

Ode to…

A Valentine’s Day Poem Written by Your One-and-only Rambling Lobbyist

Every odd year brings a flourish of people to town,
Several unfamiliar and also those renown.
Four months—give or take—they climb the hill
To let our system know their will.

Who are these people? I’ll tell you now
In this poem for a she to whom we all bow.
This is her method and the individuals she leads,
But who is “she” you ask? Be patient and read…

The first in her process are the Legislators,
Both established and new, her idea generators.
They are term-limited and speak for their folks back home,
And if doing so proudly, sometimes stand alone.

The legislative staff are the oil of her machine,
Working day and night to keep it running.
The most level of heads sit upon their shoulders.
They are her system’s grace and sanity holders.

The lobbyists live and lurk in all the dark corners,
Waiting for their chance to snatch all the bill sponsors.
That’s the fable, but it’s not the whole story.
There are several factions, and they’re not all scary.

As mentioned before her structure has term limits,
Initiated by her people without knowing the detriments.
With it we’re losing institutional knowledge and facts,
History and past details often falling through the cracks.

This is where association advocates come into play,
The history in their minds, safely locked away.
They’ve lived through many sessions with more to come,
Their integrity important, and their word golden.

These folks are not what we call hired guns.
They don’t lobby for the money and definitely not for the fun.
The goal is to educate, to help everyone learn.
It’s not a just a vote they’re looking to turn.

We can’t forget to talk about the public,
The land’s guys and gals, the healthy and the sick,
From far and wide with passion stirred,
They proudly come to let their voices be heard.

The press, ah yes, the press is important.
They report all the happenings to her republic.
Essential servants to her other friend the news,
Who above all wants to reveal the facts and truths.

We’d be remiss not mention the Executive Branch,
Living on the second floor with signatures and vetoes to dispatch.
They endorse some legislation and allow others to just pass,
The final check in her very long and arduous process.

All of the individuals mentioned in this craft—
The legislators, lobbyists, press, Executive, and staff—
Are of the upmost importance to her collected method
That’s intended to represent, protect, and be presented.

But who is this “her,” you continue to ask,
“For whom so many toil on her behalf?”
I’ll tell you now, but you’ve always known the “she,”
Referred to here as both unseen and seen.

Both working together, they built the dome.
One lives in your heart, the other is your home.
They can never be parted indefinitely.
She is both Montana and her friend Liberty.

–Fin.–

PS – 59 Legislative Days remaining…

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!

Questions?

Eric Bryson

Executive Director
Phone: 406-461-2084
ebryson@mtcounties.org

Jason Rittal

Deputy Director
406-441-5464
jrittal@mtcounties.org

Karen Alley

Associate General Counsel
Phone: 406-441-5472
kalley@mtcounties.org

Shantil Siaperas

Communications Director
Phone: 406-925-1134
shantil@mtcounties.org

Volume 26, Issue 7