If we have not met, my name is Ellie Hill and I am an attorney, community advocate, former Executive Director of the Poverello Center, and currently the co-chair of the Montana Legislative Campaign Caucus. I humbly seek your support in my re-election campaign as the Democratic candidate for the Montana State House of Representatives in House District 94.
Here’s an example of one of the many hearings regarding an extreme conservative bill we had to sit through and then try to vote down. We can do better than this: Harris Himes – addicted to hate in Montana.
From the desk of Senator Ron Erickson, Representative Dick Barrett, and Representative Ellie Hill:
There is no other way to put it: the 2011 Legislature largely failed to pass bills that would have made state government more effective, efficient, responsible and fair.
We, your three representatives in Helena, believe that state government can and should work to improve the lives of all Montanans. To that end we introduced legislation to keep renewable energy development moving forward, to overhaul the property tax reappraisal and assistance laws, to assure that University system funding was sufficient to halt the escalation of tuition, to require that non-residents and international corporations paid their fair share of Montana taxes (just like Montana households and small businesses do), and to assure that the most vulnerable of our citizens – the poor, the hungry and the homeless – received the basic services they need simply to survive in troubled economic times.
In addition to carrying this legislation ourselves, we supported bills from our colleagues that we know would have been good for Montana and Missoula, notably the much needed bonding bill, which would have financed a new home for the University’s College of Technology, providing hundreds of good construction jobs and the means for a generation of workers to develop the new skills needed to prosper in a transforming economy.
Unfortunately, almost all of these measures died – in committee or on the floor – on highly partisan votes, in a legislature in which the Republican majority was hostile to state government and lacked the vision and will to make it better serve the needs of Montanans. Rather than working creatively and constructively to craft good policy, an extremist faction within the majority party pushed forward bills to limit reproductive choice, deny local governments the right to formulate their own anti-discrimination ordinances and policies, gut the Federal health care reform effort, cut taxes for the most affluent, promote the clearly unconstitutional nullification of Federal laws, and dismantle critical environmental protections. We vigorously opposed these measures, some of which were killed in the legislature while others passed but were vetoed, in record numbers, by the Governor.
For our efforts, each of us had almost perfect voting records—“A grades”—from organizations whose issues we universally support, such as Montana Conservation Voters, NARAL Pro Choice Montana, Montana Environmental Information Center, and Montana Education Association/Montana Federal of Teachers.
We remain steadfast in our commitment to our constituents and the values that are important to them.
Two of us – Dick and Ellie – intend to go back in 2013, in the majority. But after many sessions in both the House and Senate, Ron has decided to retire from legislative service, and with Ron’s enthusiastic endorsement, Dick will run for the Senate District 47 seat. He looks forward to carrying on Ron’s work.
Give us a call or an email any time. Let us know your ideas, and thank you for allowing us to serve you in the Montana legislature.
With warm regards,