Governor Gianforte Signs Pro-Freedom, Pro-Free Enterprise Bills Into Law
At a firearms manufacturer in Gallatin County, Governor Greg Gianforte today signed two bills into law to protect Montanans’ retirement security from Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing and Montana’s firearms industry from discrimination.
“Activist, woke capitalism through ESG investing is trending on Wall Street. It won’t fly in Montana, and neither will efforts by woke banks to discriminate against gun manufacturers,” Gov. Gianforte said.
He continued, “Our right to keep and bear arms is part of our state and nation’s rich heritage. Law-abiding gun owners should not be targeted by financial institutions, like the big banks who adhere to ESG principles, just for exercising their Second Amendment rights.”
Gov. Gianforte discussing protecting Second Amendment rights with, from left to right, Phil and Erin Noreen (Noreen Firearms), Nephi Cole (NSSF), and Brian Gosch (NRA)
ESG investing prioritizes environmental, social, and governance investment principles over traditional investment principles designed to maximize shareholder returns. ESG investing discriminates against many industries, including the firearms industry.
Taking on ESG investing, the governor in January announced the State of Montana reaffirmed its commitment to maximizing shareholder returns on the over $26 billion in investments of the state’s financial assets.
“On my watch, we will never undermine taxpayers’ returns on investment in favor of activist, woke capitalism through ESG investing,” the governor said, before signing House Bill 228 into law.
Sponsored by Rep. Terry Moore, R-Billings, HB 228 prohibits consideration of nonpecuniary factors for public investments.
The governor also signed into law House Bill 356, carried by Rep. Brandon Ler, R-Savage, which establishes firearms industry nondiscrimination.
“The firearms and ammunition industries are a part of the fabric of our communities and way of life. HB 356 will help protect businesses like Noreen Firearms, preventing government entities from contracting with companies that discriminate against the firearms industry,” Gov. Gianforte said.
Erin Noreen with Noreen Firearms added, “I want to thank the governor and lawmakers for fighting for our Second Amendment rights. Without them, businesses like ours couldn’t survive.”
Brian Gosch with the National Rifle Association and Nephi Cole with the National Shooting Sports Foundation also joined the governor for the bill signing.
“Whether during his time in Congress or as governor, Governor Gianforte has been a true leader for the Second Amendment and supporter of Second Amendment rights,” Gosch said.
Cole added, “In the last few years, woke, corporate activists have sought to unfairly deny basic access to critical business infrastructure all because they support an industry they don’t agree with. It takes enormous courage to stand up to big business. It takes courage to push back. I appreciate Governor Gianforte’s leadership in doing both.”
Gov. Gianforte highlighted three other pro-freedom, pro-free enterprise bills on their way to his desk.
SB 359, sponsored by Sen. Terry Vermeire, R-Anaconda, prohibits unjust tracking of firearms sales by financial institutions.
SB 400, sponsored by Sen. John Fuller, R-Kalispell, increases the length of time a concealed weapons permit is valid – from four years to five.
HB 674, brought by Rep. Kerri Seekins-Crowe, R-Billings, creates the option of an enhanced carry permit and allows Montanans to exercise their right to carry throughout the country.
“As I continue leading our great state, we’ll keep doing what’s right for Montana,” Gov. Gianforte concluded. “We’ll keep Montana a sanctuary for freedom and free enterprise. And above all, we’ll always protect the freedoms that make our state the Last Best Place to live, work, raise a family, and achieve the American dream.”
Submitted By Kaitlin Price
Trojan Track Seeley Swan Invite; Trojan Duo Places in 800 M
By Jim Dasios
Parents…. Finally, Saturday has arrived. Work stinks, the boss is a tyrant, and you’ve seen enough of your coworkers. What you really need is some time alone…. Time to read, listen to music, or do whatever it is you like to do. Alone. One problem though, your kid never leaves the house. Heck, you’ve only seen them in the yard once, maybe twice. So, you want nothing to do, and they need something to do. That could create problems. Before you snap, I’ll offer a solution: sign the kid up for track. Both sides will benefit.
Two weeks after the Bigfork Invite, the Troy Trojans were in for another long day. Departing at 5:30 a.m., destination Missoula, and the Seely Swan Invitational Track Meet.
Two schools and six hundred competitors took over MCPS stadium, in search of individual and team honors.
Team points were given to the first through sixth finishers.
Troy’s 800 meter of Junior, Marcus Hermes and Freshmen, Nolan Morris would finish in fourth and sixth place.
Hermes’ time was 2:11. Two personal best marks were bettered on the day.
Junior, Jacob Grumley personal best in the discuss now stands at 118’ 5”.
Junior, Sarah Rogers high jumped 4’ 4” to better her previous mark.
“Tough competition here.” commented Head Coach, Neil Newton. “It’s good we get to look at teams from the other district. Teams will see again in a few weeks at divisionals.” Newton continued, “Long day for the kids. Driving to Missoula, you get off the bus and it’s let’s go. Kids are tired. It’s not the best conditions for a top performance, but you deal with it.” Newton concluded. “It’s that time of the season where we have to get better every week. Set a new personal best each meet. We’ll be back here at MCP’s stadium for divisionals. So it was nice for the kids to know what to expect.”
Next up? The Trojans traveled to Libby on Thursday, April 27 to compete in the Lincoln County Track Meet.
Montana has the 6th-Best Mental Health Care in the Nation
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so to help bring awareness our team compiled the most recent state-by-state rankings on mental health care. The report includes informative graphics on the amount of Americans suffering from mental illness, facing unmet needs, and suicidal thoughts, and detailed statistics on each state’s access to mental health care. The full report can be found at the link: https://quotewizard.com/news/best-states-for-mental-healthcare
Key Findings for Montana:
- 23% of residents have a mental illness
- 41% of residents with a mental illness are not receiving care
- Residents with a mental illness who are without insurance is 8%
Short-Term Rental Owners from Across the State Share Their Stories with Legislators
Owners of short-term rental (STR) properties across Montana gathered at the State Capitol recently to meet their legislators, share their home sharing experience, and advocate for fair STR rules.
More than two dozen property owners from as far as Libby and Prey visited the Capitol April 5th to encourage lawmakers to support legislation that allows them to continue to share their homes to supplement their income.
The effort was organized by Airbnb for its Host community in Montana, 77% of whom have just one Airbnb – their own primary residence.
More than 30% of Airbnb Hosts in Montana report that the additional income has allowed them to stay in their homes, and 42% say it has helped them keep pace with the rising cost of living. One-fourth of all Airbnb Hosts in Montana are over the age of 60.
Hosts said they wanted to dispel common myths of STR owners, including that Hosts are typically out-of-state corporations with multiple properties, or that their STRs take badly needed housing off the market.
Many local Hosts wanted to share with legislators that being a short-term rental host has become a financial lifeline.
“My husband and I are 4th generation landowners and were just able to afford to retire at the age of 71,” said Sherri Manley, who lists her Ennis short-term rental through Airbnb. “Our short-term rental has only been in existence for one year and was renovated to supplement our income. Long-term renting would not be practical for us because we have a large family who visits and uses the home to house them.”
Another local short-term rental owner, Annalee Venneri of Helena, said “As a single income household with a state employee salary I found myself in a possible housing insecurity situation. When I found out my rent would be more than a mortgage I decided to buy my house. I host my spare bedroom in an attempt to offset my bills, rebuild my savings, and pay off debt from the purchase.”
The 2023 Legislature considered a number of bills that could have negatively affected property owners’ rights to put their homes up for short-term rental. As of Wednesday (April 5), the most onerous of those bills had been tabled. Hosts said they were appreciative of legislative efforts to push back on those bills.
Legislators have also considered bills that would help protect the rights of short-term rental property owners. Sen. Daniel Zolnikov, an outspoken supporter of short-term rentals, met with hosts Wednesday morning, encouraging them to meet their representatives and share their stories.
“Montana’s short-term rental (STR) owners should have the right to utilize their property to make additional income to keep up with the increasing cost of living without burdensome rules and regulations,” said Sen. Zolnikov. “Making it harder for Montanans to share their homes with guests looking to spend money in local cities only hurts our economy.”
Submitted By Brian Allfrey