States rights Vs. Federalism. Bringing the American People together under one Yolk.

June 21, 2013

English: Montana State Capitol

This article is particularly opinionated, but I believe it is very relevant because it relates to a very significant source of division among conservatives.

It’s the good old conflict between Federalism, or in this case, a national licensing system, Vs. States rights, or in this case, the administrative authority of the State of Montana.

On the 24th of April 2013 Montana House Bill 116, sponsored by Representative Jennifer Eck HD82, was signed into law by Governor Steve Bullock.

This bill amended several sections of the law related to deferred deposit lending, beginning with Section 1 MCA 31-1-705 to allow licensing through a national licensing system.

As I have mentioned in other articles, it is my firm belief, the United States of America, became and is, the greatest nation in the history of human civilization, because we were the first to truly emphasize the unifying capability of freedom of diversity.

There are many different cultures in Montana. We have many things in common with the citizens of other states, but our nation is only made stronger because we are unique in our identity as Montanans, and because we stand shoulder to shoulder with all Americans.

It is my opinion, every piece of legislation we pass, that defers authority for business conducted within Montana, away from the direct control of the State of Montana, erodes our identity, and in so doing, diminishes the strength we contribute to this great nation.

If you do business within the borders of Montana, you should be licensed by, and held to account by, the administrative authorities established by the citizens of Montana. I wouldn’t expect any less from any state.

Now I realize, most patient folk would be inclined to ask, how exactly does cooperating with a national licensing system undermine the authority of our state? Believe me, I asked that question myself, and I encourage everybody to do exactly what I did. Before I decided this bill would make a good topic for an article, I carefully read through the text of the bill, a number of times. I paid close attention to both what was added, and what was removed.

There is no clearer indication that our lawmakers, Democrats obviously, but also a number of Republicans, knowingly and deliberately, surrendered our state’s administrative authority, than the changes this bill made to Section 2 MCA 31-1-706 sub section (2).

Prior to this amending bill, Section 2 MCA 31-1-706 read, “(2) Failure to pay any yearly license renewal fee required by this section within the time prescribed will result in the automatic revocation of the license subject to renewal.”

This text was removed in its entirety and replaced with, “The department may direct that fees due the department under subsection (1) be remitted to the department through a nationwide licensing system.”

Maybe this nationwide licensing system has its own protocol to revoke a license if the dues are not paid on time, but the question I pose is, where is the certainty for the citizens of Montana?

Sure we can all assume a nationwide licensing system is going to want their money, but the point of my concern is, it isn’t in our hands to deal with directly.

The changes this bill made to Section 1 MCA 31-1-705 sub section (3) support my concerns even further.

Prior to this amending bill, this section of the law read “(3) The application for licensure must be in writing, under oath, and in the form prescribed by the department. The application must contain: (a) the name of the applicant; (b) the date of formation if a business entity; (c) the physical address of each deferred deposit loan office to be operated by the applicant; (d) the resident address of the owner or partners or, if a corporation or association, of the directors, trustees, and principal officers; and (e) any pertinent information the department may require.

This section of the law now reads, “the application for licensure must be in the form and submitted in the manner that the department directs.” That’s it.

The amended version of the law doesn’t clearly specify, but it is plenty obvious, it leaves the licensing requirements, for persons interested in conducting this sort of business within the borders of Montana, solely in the control of the nationwide licensing system.

This concerns me profoundly. As a citizen of the State of Montana, I believe I have a right, to expect direct oversight of business conducted within the borders of our state, by administrative authorities of our state.

Once again, I don’t expect anybody to just take my word. I encourage everybody to review this law for themselves.

When you get to the site, look to the left hand side of the page. Click the “Bills” link, first link under the “Home” link. Then click “2013 laws” Where it says Bill Type and Number, click the pull down tab and select “HB” then type the number 116 in the space provided and press enter.

This will bring you directly to the detailed bill information page for this bill. From there you can read the current text of the bill in, as well as previous versions. Scroll down and you can view the vote tabulation, see how each representative and senator voted, by clicking the underlined number in either the voted yes, or voted no columns.

Consider your findings next time you vote.

Glenn W. Uncles Jr.

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