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Legislative Notes Legislative Notes

It takes a lot to surprise me anymore when it comes to politics or government. But suing to block funding for special needs kids to get an education that works for them? That’s a new low.  In case you missed the news in January, a lawsuit has been filed seeking to overturn the 2023 Legislature’s House Bill 393. HB 393 would allow parents of students with disabilities to have Education Savings Accounts that would reimburse them for education services obtained outside of their local public school. The intent of the bill is very simple: if a special needs student’s local school can’t provide them with the unique individualized education that they need to be succ...

Slices of Life

We are in the ‘amore’ season of the year.  Love. Kisses. Hearts. Roses. Romantic cards. Candles. Champagne. A box of chocolates.  On February 14 we celebrate Valentine’s Day. Or, better put, some of us do. For many years, the day had personal significance to me because I ...

Legislative Notes

As a practicing lawyer, I am often reluctant to criticize decisions made by a court.  However, last week, the Montana Supreme Court rendered a decision involving legislative rules which is absolutely stunning. One of the basic principles of our system of government is the separation of powers. Under ...

Valley Views

On Feb. 8 (and in this newspaper issue), senator (and lawyer) Steve Fitzpatrick (R-SD 10) published a guest view in the Independent Record chastising the Montana Supreme Court for a “stunning” decision. The Senator’s litany of complaints included that the Court violated the separation of po...

We cannot afford to lose our democracy

Editor, Three considerations: (A) In our nation, black or white, rich or poor, liberal or conservative, male or female, young or old, our experiences have generally formed a trust in our two-party democratic system of government. However, many Republicans are presently baffled and bewildered by current...

Elder distinction shouldn’t be based on income

Editor, I received my letter from DHRD Elder Services Program May 4, 2023. Long awaited with great anticipation almost a feeling of excitement opening up the letter. Finally after working 47 years of my life I will finally be recognized by my Tribe and its Council for all my hard work and dedication to my...

Strike Two for Tribal Health Department

Editor, This letter is being addressed to the Tribal Council and the Tribal Health management. Once again failure within the Tribal Health Department in the same program that failed to bring me to my scheduled surgery back in January 2024.  Upon calling their program in December 2023, letting t...

Slices of Life

I was sick last week. It felt like a long and miserable 12 days – and that was just Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I’m not good at being sick. Thankfully, I don’t get much practice. I’m one of those robust and healthy types. I like to joke that I’m too crabby to get sick; germs ...

All’s fair in love, war? and U.S. politics?

Editor, The smooth transition of Presidential power came to an end after 225 years due to Donald Trump. The work of many, highly placed Republicans is responsible for this debacle. After 35 months, Wisconsin Republican “fake electors” who collaborated with Donald Trump to overturn the 2020 ...

Valley Views

As a fifth-generation Montanan, I have fond memories with my Grandpa Daines of learning how to fish and hunt north of Big Timber, and my goal is to pass these traditions on to my own children and grandchildren. There is no better way to experience Montana than backpacking, hunting, hiking or fishing. I share...

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