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Badbills.com back for 2005 Montana Legislative session

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December 1, 2004View for printing

One proposed bill coming before the 2005 Legislature would require licenses for bicyclists. Another would designate an official "state insect."

What they have in common is their designation as "bad bills" by Steve White, the Webmaster of http://www.Badbills.com.

By WALT WILLIAMS, Chronicle Staff Writer

http://bozemandailychronicle.com/art ... adbills.txt

Badbills.com is a clearinghouse of what White considers bad legislation on its way to becoming law. The site was started before the 2003 session and turned into a big hit for White, a Bozeman native who has been asked to expand his site to cover other states.

So far he's stuck with Montana. Now he is getting ready for 2005.

Not everyone will agree with White's conservative viewpoint about what constitutes a "bad bill." But the site offers at least a starting point for Internet users trying to get a grasp on the hundreds of bills that will come before lawmakers when they convene in Helena.

"If I can just improve the dialogue in Montana, I think that would be pretty cool," White said Tuesday.

Already more than 1,300 bills have been proposed, or about 300 more bills than this time before the last session, White said.

Many bills will be either discarded or combined with similar legislation before they come before lawmakers. During the last session, some 2,200 bill requests were winnowed down to 1,360 bills, half of which were passed by lawmakers, according to Greg Petesch of the Legislative Services Division.

Lawmakers have until Dec. 5 to request an unlimited number of bill drafts. After that they're limited to seven requests, five of which must be submitted before the session starts.

Badbills.com acts a roadmap during the hyperactive four months of the Legislative session. Besides the political commentary about "bad bills," White offers helpful advice about the legislative process, a guide for lobbying legislators and even road maps and parking information in and around the Capitol.

"My purpose was essentially to push people into being more involved -- in a more educated way -- in the legislative process," he said.

White admitted his site probably wouldn't have been possible if it were not for the state's own legislative site, which allows Internet users to not only read proposed bills online, but to track groups of bills based on subject. That site is located at http://leg.state.mt.us.

White links directly to the bills he criticizes. Badbills.com even looks like the legislative site, sporting the same gray background.

While Badbills.com was only occasionally updated between sessions, the site received more visits after the 2003 session than during it. White suspects Internet users were using it as a portal to other government sites.

If that's all they use it for, then White wouldn't be disappointed.

"I really wanted people not to lose focus on what is going on around them in government," he said.

Walt Williams is at wwilliams@dailychronicle.com

Reader Comments:




While you may not agree with Steve's assessments, the site does provide a great deal of information about bills and how to contact their sponsors if you have questions or concerns.

It's your responsibility to keep informed and stay involved if your care about the future of Montana.

As Steve says: "Never forget that legislators in our state are just like you and I. They have a passion for serving their fellow citizens. They want to do the best for the state and their constituents. It is up to you to participate beyond voting at the polls. Take your kids to the Capitol. Learn about our government. Participate. It is your state. It is your government. And with the internet, phone, fax and automobile – you can be part of it (and have little excuse not to)."

Russ
--russ


"Evolutionary theory as fact" - First you cannot prove a theory is fact unless it has been tested, observed and seen" A good test would be to search for fossils showing missing links. Not only are they really missing their are numerous hoaxes and false runs than never are publicized after true analysis and testing. This is shameful. A true scientist you would think would tenaciously adhere to objectivity. Most of the heavy hitters "the front line researchers and writers, the proponents of the theory will admit that it's a theory.
People who support or not support something if they don't understand do it in blindness or faith. Opinion is just opinion and that's all. Do you know what a Polonium halo is? Do you know how many huminoid missing links there really are? Do you know how perfect the weak and strong nulcear forces are? Do you know what would happen is those forces were any stronger or any weaker? Did you know that statistics will declare something absurd when it reaches ten to the minus 50th power. Do you know and understand this test and what can be included. What do you really know about the fine tuned observable and knoweable scientific tests that all seem to point to a designer! Science teachers and some others who realy are not in the know about these things and further are not qualified to present a scientific argument, must clearly state that theri view is simply an opinion and that it is their personal view of life. It is in fact a personal choice to believe in something that is lacking in evidence and cannot be seen. It is very much like a faith based religion. The days are here when that which is called right will be wrong and that which is wrong will be called right.


Steve's site is great for students and their parents. It is easily navigated and contains lots of links.

It is amazing that our legislators can come up with so many ideas for "badbills". I hope that they debate them all with utmost wisdom!




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