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NorthWestern Provides Clarity to Testimony on HB 598

Mar 14, 2015 |

On Friday the 13th, our lobbyist John Fitzpatrick provided testimony in opposition of House Bill 598.  This is a bill that we feel limits, or creates a pathway that could limit, our ability as an employer to implement policies that are consistent with our safety values.  We have a long-standing policy that does not allow weapons of any kind on NorthWestern Energy property.  This is not the first time was have spoken in opposition of bills that could create a pathway for weapons in the workplace. It is, in fact, the seventh legislative session in which we have dealt with this issue. We take the safety and security of our employees, customers and equipment very seriously. We will continue to protect our right to maintain a workplace free of weapons. If  you take the time to listen the audio of the hearing (the link is below) you will also note that we were not the only business or group to speak in opposition of HB 598.  And, as an aside, to the best of our knowledge Michael Bloomberg does not have financial interest in the company.  We do, however, subscribe to a couple of Bloomberg News products.

There’s a press release (not ours) floating around that indicates Mr. Fitzpatrick stepped to the microphone five times “in opposition” to this bill.  However, what it fails to mention is that he stepped to the microphone once to testify and four other times to answer questions posed to him by members of the legislative panel.   

We have also been criticized for using customer money to pay for lobbying expenses. We want to clarify that lobbying expenses are not paid for in customer rates.  Lobbying expenses, just like charitable giving, are borne by our shareholders. 

Montanans take their civil liberties seriously and so do we.  Here’s a link to the hearing in question so that you can listen to it for yourself and draw your own conclusions.

 http://leg.mt.gov/css/Video-and-Audio/archives/av.asp

Look for the drop down link to  House Judiciary …. 3/13/15 … Audio Only

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