MTPR

No 'Silver Bullets' At The Legislature For Montana Democrats

Jan 4, 2017

At the Capitol today, Democratic Leadership failed to convince Republicans to give them some so-called "silver bullets," like they had last legislative session. 

In a Rules Committee meeting, Representative Jenny Eck asked Republicans for a tool that would allow them to move bills from a committee onto the House floor with a simple majority vote. It usually takes a super-majority, making it easier for a majority party to block bills they don’t like.

"We would like to see a similar arrangement to last session, with six silver bullets on our side, and six silver bullets with the majority," Eck said.

Republicans voted along party lines to block the silver bullet addition to the House rules.

Democrats used silver bullets several times during last legislative session, including to help pass Medicaid expansion, which became law.

When Republican chairman Jeff Essmann was asked if the success Democrats found in using the silver bullets last time influenced  his vote, he said he voted against the rule because it will make the House floor more efficient, and not gummed up with too many bills:

"If there is an important bill, it needs to be heard on the floor. The legislator is free to work hard to get the 60 votes to get it out and get it heard," Essmann said.

The rules still need to be approved by the entire body of the House.