BILLINGS – Advocacy groups met in downtown Billings on Monday night to share Democrats’ successes and shortcomings in the 2019 Legislative Session.
Representatives from Planned Parenthood, Forward Montana, Western Native Voice, Big Sky 55+, Montana Women Vote Here, Indigenous Organization Coalition, ACLU of Montana, and Montana Human Rights Network met at This House of Books.
One of the highlighted successes out of the 2019 session: The Montana Human Rights Network was able to reach out to more Native voters than in recent memory.
Planned Parenthood representatives applauded Gov. Steve Bullock’s veto of House Bill 500.
The bill would have prevented abortions being conducted after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
On the list of disappointments: The failure to pass the pre-school funding bill.
“I really think that is something that we as a state we are going to have to continue to look at.” said Democrat Rep. Emma Ker-Carpenter. “It is in my mind a travesty that we were not able to get that done. We have hundreds and thousands of preschoolers and hundreds of families for whom that is critical care. It is really important for setting children up for success in adulthood. And the fact we didn’t get it done is awful.”
Representative Kerr-Carpenter also praised the “Fighting 42,” the group of Democrats in the house, for a unified effort during the session.