Here’s some of the news and a few of the bills that caught my attention.
The Good: Two bills from Missoula’s delegation will be heard this coming week. One is on killing and one is on dying. Republican Rep. David “Doc” Moore is sponsoring a bill to abolish state-sanctioned killing, a.k.a. the death penalty, and the other is from Democratic Sen. Dick Barrett to allow terminally ill patients to request drugs to end their suffering, a.k.a. death with dignity. These are HB 370 and SB 202, respectively.
The Bad: Capitol Bureau Chief John Adams is leaving the Great Falls Tribune. I first read about this at Flathead Memo but the story originated here, I believe. Another take is from Jim Romenesko, whose website covers the media and is an excellent resource. Media conglomerate Gannett (think USA Today) told reporters they’d have to reapply for jobs at the Trib’s “newsroom of the future.” The incestuous world of print journalism doesn’t allow Adams the opportunity to badmouth Gannett. I’ll bet he’s pissed, though, especially after being named one of Montana’s best political reporters by the Washington Post.
This is a huge loss to those who follow Montana politics. Maybe he’ll end up at Ed Kemmick’s Last Best News. That would be cool.
The Stupid would be an amendment to an immunization bill allowing parents to opt out of vaccinations for their kids for “personal reasons” (such as idiocy). It’s HB 158 and is being offered up by Rep. Greg Hertz (R-Polson). Hertz is jumping on the anti-immunization hysteria sweeping wing-nut nation. As a result, according to Parents magazine:
… there have been recent outbreaks of serious diseases that vaccines had virtually wiped out in the U.S., including measles, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough), and haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), which was once the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in kids under 5.
Thanks, Rep. Hertz. I can’t wait for polio and diphtheria to make a comeback, too.