A reality based independent journal of observation & analysis, serving the Flathead Valley & Montana since 2006. © James Conner.

27 February 2017

Zach Brown’s anti-painkiller bill defeated on 3rd reading

Rep. Zach Brown’s (D-Bozeman) bill, HB-409, to handcuff physicians and dentists who prescribe opioid painkillers died on its third reading in the Montana House of Representatives on Saturday, 47–50 with three legislators absent. A day earlier the house had approved the bill 53–47 on its second reading.

Eleven legislators, including two from the Flathead, changed their votes after the bill’s second reading. There were some strange bedfellows pairing, with Whitefish Democrat Dave Fern and Lakeside Republican Derek Skees both supporting the bill.

Table 1: Changed votes and Flathead votes

Download spreadsheet of all votes on HB-409

Whether Brown will try to revive the bill remains unclear. His jihad against opioids has substantial support from the Democratic Party’s bite-the-bullet caucus, whose hysterical fear of opioid painkillers is as strong as the Trump sycophants’ hysterical fear of Muslim refugees.

How so many Democratic legislators in Montana became deaf to the cries of people in pain remains a mystery.