Articles written by Sen. Jason Ellsworth

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  • Responding to Mike Marshall's letter

    Sen. Jason Ellsworth, President of the Montana Senate|Jan 11, 2024

    I want to respond to Mike Marshall’s letter, published in the Pathfinder on Jan. 4. As I understand him, Mr. Marshall’s basic premise is that all or most of the dozens of bills passed by the Legislature that are being challenged in court are clearly unconstitutional. Constitutional matters are not so simple, nor does the actual data support his argument. But it’s an argument that has also been made by others, such as Democratic legislators and activists, so I’d like to address it. First, Mr. Marshall suggests the Legislature’s “legal ve...

  • Slow court process likely to create problems

    Sen. Jason Ellsworth, Montana Senate President|Dec 21, 2023

    This column could be considered an open letter to Montana judges and justices, as well as the various agencies and parties engaged in lawsuits over legislation from the 2023 and 2021 legislative sessions. It’s also meant to inform Montanans about how ongoing litigation could impact future legislative sessions and, more fundamentally, their own ability to know and understand the current laws of our state. I write today not to submit another critique of political biases and integrity within the judicial branch, which have been widely discussed t...

  • New laws already having a positive impact

    Sen. Jason Ellsworth, Montana Senate President|Sep 21, 2023

    The 2023 legislative session wrapped up less than five months ago. Many bills don’t go into effect until October 1st of this year, January 1st of next year, or later. But several of the bills that became law this spring and summer are already having a noticeable impact in Montana. Perhaps the most stark example of this is prosecuting human trafficking. Before the 2023 Legislature, no one had ever been convicted under Montana’s old laws against human trafficking, with the outdated laws not providing law enforcement the tools they needed. That ch...

  • Next legislative session's work begins now

    Sen. Jason Ellsworth, Montana Senate President|Sep 14, 2023

    It’s fairly common knowledge that Montana’s legislative branch of government is a citizen legislature that only meets in session for 90 business days every two years. While true, those facts often lead to misconceptions about the real nature of legislators’ work. In reality, the Legislature works year round. Being an effective legislator is much closer to full-time public service than a part-time job. Constituents regularly contact their elected representatives looking for assistance, asking about various laws, and pitching their ideas for f...

  • Montanans Deserve Better Than One-Size-Fits-All Federal Healthcare

    Sen. Jason Ellsworth, Hamilton, Mont.|Sep 19, 2019

    Rural Montana is facing some pressing challenges. We must provide quality medical care for an aging population, so our seniors can enjoy healthy, vibrant lives in the communities they’ve always called home. And we need to create more jobs for the next generation of rural Montanans so they have the opportunity to live in our great state. These two objectives both require enhancements to our health care system, but we need to implement these enhancements in a way that will not jeopardize access to healthcare for people who live and work in r...

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