News & Features

Early Word on 2009 Legislature: Kumbaya

It can only get better

The early word from our newly minted state lawmakers is that 2009 will be different than 2007. My colleague Dan Testa penned an analysis on what happened in 2007 and how legislators are hoping to avoid a sequel. Read the piece here.

What struck me was an interview with Rep. Mike Jopek, D-Whitefish. He said a deadlocked chamber, which the House is right now, is preferable to one that gives one party a razor-thin margin.

“It’s actually not a bad atmosphere, it’s really quite decent,” Jopek said. “There’s more discussion at the committee level – we actually have to cooperate.”

The 2005 session had a 50-50 split in the House, and Jopek looks back on it fondly.

But the 2007 Legislature was such a nightmare, in which a special session had to be called just to pass the state budget, I wonder if Jopek’s memory is a bit skewed.