Sunday, January 20, 2013

63rd Montana Legislature, Week One and Week Two

Hello, Blogosphere! It's been a while since I posted; didja miss me?

Oath of office ceremony, Montana House of Representatives.
 On Monday, January 7, I took my oath of office to serve a third term in Montana's House of Representatives, and I am so grateful for your support. I'm honored to serve, and I love the hard work of making good public policy. I'll do my best for everyone in Montana, you can be sure.

With Lieutenant Governor John Walsh (left), Governor Steve Bullock!
This session, I'm serving as Vice Chair of the House Taxation committee, and I'm a member of the Natural Resources committee, and also the Fish, Wildlife, and Parks committee. It's a busy schedule, but the policy decisions that come before us are weighty and important; House Tax was in joint meetings with Senate Tax three times these past two weeks for hearings on the revenue estimate, and House FWP has already heard wolf hunting bills. The session is in full swing.

In the first week on Day Four, I presented two bills to the House Business and Labor Committee. This week, Week Two, those two bills passed the House. The bills will transmit to the Senate in late February, and then I'll present the bills to Senate committees and hopefully, the Senate will pass the bills. After that, it's on to the governor's desk, and into law. The bills are brought at the request of the Department of Administration, specifically for the Banking Commissioner, and one proposes changes to the Retail Installment Sales Act, the other, changes to the Consumer Loan Act. In committee, I presented amendments to the Retail Installment Sales Act on behalf of auto dealers and also for banks, and I'll bring amendments to the Consumer Loan Act after discussion in the House during debate. All in all, these two bills will help protect consumers from fraudulent lenders, ensure that basic business practices are followed (like requiring interest to be computed on the principal of the loan, requiring that receipts are dated, and figuring refunds for loans that are paid in full before the final payment is due.)

I'll post updates from the session, so stay tuned. Call (406 444 4800) anytime, or write me a message that'll be delivered to my desk in the House chamber (http://www.leg.mt.gov/css/sessions/63rd/legwebmessage.asp?LegSessID=4175&Name=JP%20POMNICHOWSKI).

I'll be working on legislation and writing on items of interest as the session progresses!