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The state Legislature continues to waste its biennial 90 days during our current health and economic crisis. Too many bills are being characterized as solutions in search of a problem.

Sanctuary cities — we don’t have any. Transgender athletes — the Montana HS Association has never had an issue with this. Restoring the sale of flavored vaping liquids — why? and why now? A misinformed and wrongheaded attempt to get between doctors and families called “the Youth Protection Act” — which would in fact have had the opposite effect.

The Covid liability shield is another time-waster in that that existing law is said to adequately protect business from baseless lawsuits. How about protecting employees from unsafe working conditions? Patrons have the choice of assessing their degree of risk; employees exposed to risky working conditions are limited in their choices. This legislation is designed for lifting the mask mandate despite public health results. Employees will be even further exposed to unsafe conditions. This bill seeks to protect businesses, but it has the opposite effect on the labor force. They maintain the Montana economy, too.

Infection rates in our state, while moving downward at last, are still twice that of the rate of the summer high. Continuing to follow best public health practices is critical as we proceed with vaccinations. New cases are rolls of the dice for variants of the virus as it evolves. Time is of the essence. Let’s have a state Legislature that uses its limited time more wisely.

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Clara Pincus