Pony up to sue; Heart of the Monster March; MEPA;
Pony Up to Sue
The bill introduced by Idaho republican Hartwood passed through the house a few days ago, but came under some hard scrutiny in the Senate. When questioned by Senator Elliot Werk (D-Boise) as to why he deemed the lawsuits “frivolous” when neither an Idaho judge nor the state hearing officer Hartwood replied, “I just used that term because sometimes that’s how I feel they are.” Hartwood’s bill follows the same tack taken by two other bills in the past regarding lawsuits over timber sales as well as nuclear shipments. both bills were passed in response to raising citizen concerns and attempts to oppose projects that were, in fact, hurting Idaho citizens. The two similar bills did pass, effectively limiting one legal avenue for public opposition. The kind of bill that Hartwood has proposed (in his belief to counter judges that may lean in favor of something that he does not like) are even to Hartwood suspect. “Certain judges do lean in different directions. A lot of times maybe their … personal opinion, and I know in my case often my own personal opinion overrides the right thing to do.” So far the motion to kill the bill failed, but a motion to amend the bill passed 6-3.
Heart of the Monster March
Opposition to the megaloads built up steam along Highway 12 and in the Nez Perce reservation with a Heart of the Monster march. Residents marched to the actual Heart of the Monster site which lies right along the route the megalaods will travel.
Despite (or maybe to spite) all of the bills proposed in this years Montana legislature that, to put is simply, either suck are are outright crazy, Sen. Carol Williams has introduced a bill that will actually strengthen the Montana Environmental Policy Act. I believe this would be the first time that has happened in as long as I can remember. But with the bill facing a hard audience in this year’s slapstick policy comedy it need all the public support it can get. That’s why All Against the Haul is inviting people to take action. AATH is in Helena today, but even if you didn’t make there you can contact committee members. (Sorry for the late notice regarding this important event, however.)