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Guest column: Session’s second half is off and running

by By Greg Hertz
| March 18, 2021 12:30 AM

As we begin the second half of the 67th legislative session I would like to highlight some very important bills that we can all support for the benefit of Montana.

Senate Bill 101 provides permanent authorization of Direct Patient Care in Montana law. Dr. Harrop’s Pure Health DPC in Polson is an example of this type of health care. This is a huge step forward allowing affordable, quality health care in our state. SB 101 is on its way to Gov. Gianforte for his signature.

House Bill 43 permanently expands telehealth in Montana and will lock in regulatory flexibilities that were allowed during our ongoing pandemic. Telehealth will allow doctors to do a virtual home visit over your smartphone or computer without leaving your home. HB 43 is working its way through the Senate after passing the House unanimously.

House Bill 158 creates a legislative committee that asks a simple question: if regulations could be waived during the pandemic, were those regulations necessary in the first place? This bill will allow the Legislature to gather stakeholders together to review regulations on our books. HB 158 will soon be heading to the Senate.

House Bill 479 expands privacy protection for digital data stored in the cloud and safeguards against dragnet mass data collection by the government. It has passed the House and is working through the Senate. The Senate already unanimously passed another bill, SB 203, that proposes an amendment to the state Constitution to further protect Montanans’ digital privacy.

Senate Bill 212 requires more transparency from local governments on the spending of your property tax dollars, allowing taxpayers to make more informed decisions on government services and related taxes.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at 406-253-9505 or email me at greg.hertz@mtleg.gov

Montana Sen. Greg Hertz resides in Polson and represents Senate District 6.