Monday, November 23, 2015

Legislature 101 at Bozeman Pecha Kucha 17

Montana has a citizen legislature. Regular citizens serve as your lawmakers, meeting for no more than 90 days every two years. Montana's "Peoples' Branch" is unique, and I'm very proud to serve. 

To share some of the facts about our state legislative branch of government, I presented at Bozeman Pecha Kucha on Montana's Citizen Legislature a couple weeks ago. You should see it!

Pecha Kucha is a simple presentation format that shows 20 images, each for 20 seconds, with narration from the presenter. The topics are as varied as the presenters, and I think this snapshot of Montana's lawmaking branch gives a good outline.

Pecha Kucha has gone viral, and more than 800 cities worldwide host PK nights. I hope you enjoy this bit on the Montana Legislature, and please do attend Bozeman Pecha Kucha in the future!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

2015 Montana Legislature, Day 1-16 (January 5-24)


  The 2015 Montana Legislature is in full swing. I owe you an update!
  On Monday, January 5, senators and representatives were sworn in to office at high noon. I'm proud to represent Senate District 33, Bozeman and Gallatin County, along with friends and neighbors and Montanans in all reaches of the state!

  I started the session with several bill drafts, and I've presented at least one bill in each of these three weeks.

The powerful front row of Democratic women, including my seat.
  The first bill I presented (in the first week!) was Senate Bill 46 on behalf of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and Montana sportsmen and women, to allow electronic signatures on hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses so that licenses can be displayed on electronic devices. The Senate Fish and Game Committee passed the bill unanimously, then the bill passed the Senate 47-3. Next week, I present it to the House of Representatives committee. Fingers crossed it keeps progressing!

Fellow senators Diane Sands and Lea Whitford at our inauguration.
  Week Two: Senate Bill 47 proposes an increase in wildland fire assessments for private forest land owners (from $45 to $50). The Senate Natural Resources Committee has the bill now, and I hope it advances.

34 co-sponsors of the state soil bill, Democrats and Republicans!
  On January 19, I presented Senate Bill 86 on behalf of the Commissioner of Political Practices and Montanans everywhere, for electronic filing of campaign finance reports. It'd make campaign finance information immediately available and searchable! It's a good bill...but I found out that it was tabled in committee yesterday (likely dead).
Introducing Senate Bill 176, to name a state soil!

  And in the meantime, I introduced Senate Bill 176, to name a new state symbol: a state soil! The fourth-graders at Longfellow Elementary in Bozeman approached me in the early fall last year to carry this bill, and they're all (52 of 'em) coming to Helena to try to get their bill passed! They've studies soils and propose that the Scobey soil series be named the state soil. (The Natural Resources and Conservation Service, a federal agency, has already identified state soils for each state in the nation, and named the Scobey soils as Montana's. It's just that we as a state have not memorialized the soil as a state symbol...YET.)
  Scobey soils underlie the Golden Triangle in Montana, the most productive non-irrigated farmland that produces high-yield, high-protein wheat, and the soils extend all along the Hi-Line, too. US Senator Tester has written a letter in support of the effort, and so has Dean Folkvord, our very successful local farmer and entrepreneur of Wheat Montana!

  In these first three weeks, legislators have held joint sessions to hear addresses from Montana Supreme Court Justice Mike McGrath and US Senator Jon Tester. And I've included a few more photos from these first sixteen days of the session.

  More to come, everyone, as the session advances. Stay tuned!
Montana Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike McGrath

U.S. Senator Jon Tester addresses a joint session
Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau and me

My fellow senator from Gallatin Valley, Mike Phillips

My dad, Ralph Pomnichowski, and his wife, Barbara Mittal

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Re-Elected! Now, Senator for District 33, Bozeman!

Thank you, voters!

On Tuesday, November 4, in the general election, I won my race for a state senate seat. I am so proud to be elected from Senate District 33 to represent all Montanans in the upcoming 2015 Legislature!

The vote totals were:

JP Pomnichowski, Democrat . . . . 3,899 . . . . 57.79 %
Bryan Rogan, Republican . . . . . .  2,415 . . . . 35.79 %
Joan Stanley, Libertarian . . . . . . . .  433 . . . . . 6.42 %

I love the work of the legislature.
I'll do my very best to pass good policy for all of us.
Thank you!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Friend's advice: Vote for JP!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Vote the longest name on the ballot!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Vote for JP! Here's why.

  Mail ballots begin arriving in voters' mailboxes today.
  I've been out talking to voters since March, visiting with people at meetings and events all over the Gallatin Valley, trying my level best to answer questions and establish  good public policy as an elected official.
  Now, I hope to continue the work!

  Please vote JP Pomnichowski for Montana State Senate.

  I'm finishing my third term in Montana's House of Representatives, and I'm proud of the work I've accomplished in these six years. Every bill I've passed has been with bipartisan support. For me, it's always about the policy, not the politics. Whatever the problem we're trying to solve, I've worked with Republicans and Democrats alike to fashion solutions.

  As a snapshot, here's some of the policy work I've passed into state law:

-  The creation of a Cancer Drug Donation Program, to make cancer drugs available to patients who need but cannot afford them, first implemented at our own Bozeman Cancer Center.

-  Laws for the protection of personal information in state computers, and the protection of personal information on hunting and fishing licenses.

-   Policy encouraging the creation of high-tech businesses in Montana through the commercialization of research by offering state matching grants for winners of federal Small Business Innovative Research and Small Technology Transfer Research grants.

-  A law  to protect downtown Bozeman property values after the 2009 natural gas explosion and fire (House Bill 653, Revise base taxable value of TIF for local disaster, applies for any TIF district that's suffered a disaster.) 

-   New guidelines to grant licenses to disabled hunters, and to allow health care professionals (Advanced Practice Registered Nurses and Physician's Assistants) to endorse disabled hunter permit medical certifications, important because in many small Montana communities, no M.D. is available. Health care is delivered by APRNs and PAs.

-  Important new water policy to preserve and protect water quality and water quantity, especially where population growth is dense: in closed basins, where the amount of water available is exceeded by the allowable uses permitted.

-  to protect citizens against identity theft  

-  for freedom of speech 

  As well as my work on individual pieces of legislation, I’ve served as Vice Chair of the House Taxation committee (2013), Vice Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee (2009), and served two terms on the House Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Committee. 

  I love the work, and I'd be honored to continue the work on your behalf.