Ups and Downs:

2014-03-30T00:00:00Z Ups and Downs: The Billings Gazette
March 30, 2014 12:00 am

UP

Southern settlement. A deal between Southern Electric Generation and Transmission Cooperative and its creditors settles debts and guarantees its electric customers won’t see any power rate increases for four years. Bankrupt Southern supplies power to rural co-ops in central Montana.

DOWN

Rocky route. A day of planned road maintenance turned into an indefinite closure of scenic Zimmerman Trail when a rock slide took out a 250-foot section of guardrail and more rock appeared to be at risk of falling. Fortunately, no one was injured.

DOWN

Snowiest winter. A plentiful mountain snowpack is critical for Montana, snowfall at ski resorts is great, and, up to a point, snow is good in Billings. But in this record-breaking with more than 99 inches of snow so far, we’ve past that point.

UP

Short opinion. Last week, the Montana Supreme Court removed a legislative referendum from the June 3 ballot, ruling that the measure violated state law that limits the title of legislative referenda to 100 words. Our computer word counter says the rejected title is 187 words: AN ACT GENERALLY REVISING ELECTION LAWS; PROVIDING THAT THE TWO CANDIDATES WHO RECEIVE THE MOST VOTES IN CERTAIN PRIMARY ELECTIONS FOR PARTISAN OFFICES ADVANCE TO THE GENERAL ELECTION IRRESPECTIVE OF PARTY AFFILIATION; ELIMINATING SEPARATE PARTY BALLOTS AND PROVIDING FOR ONE PRIMARY BALLOT CONTAINING ALL PRIMARY RACES; PROVIDING THAT THE PROPOSED ACT BE SUBMITTED TO THE QUALIFIED ELECTORS OF MONTANA; AMENDING SECTIONS 2-16-615, 5-2-402, 5-2-403, 5-2-404, 5-2-406, 7-2-2219, 7-3-176, 7-3-218, 7-3-313, 7-3-412, 7-3-512,7-3-704, 7-3-1256, 7-4-2106, 7-4-2206, 7-4-2302, 7-4-2310, 7-4-4112,13-1-101, 13-1-103, 13-4-102, 13-10-201, 13-10-203, 13-10-204,13-10-209, 13-10-211, 13-10-301, 13-10-325, l3-10-326, l3-10-327,13-10-402, 13-10-403, 13-10-404, 13-10-405, 13-10-501, 13-10-504,13-10-505, 13-12-201, 13-12-202, 13-12-203, 13-12-205, l3-12-207,13-13-214, 13-13-225, 13-l3-241, 13-14-111, 13-14-112, l3-14-113,13-14-114, 13-14-115, 13-14-117, 13-14-118, 13-15-201, l3-15-205,13-15-206, 13-15-208, 13-15-405, 13-15-406, 13-15-507, l3-16-101,13-16-201, 13-16-211, 13-16-412, 13-16-418, 13-16-419, 13-16-501,13-17-103, 13-19-205, 13-21-205, 13-25-101, 13-25-201, 13-25-205,13-25-303, 13-35-106, 13-35-205, 13-35-206, 13-35-207, l3-35-214,13-35-218, 13-35-221, 13-35-225, 13-35-226, 13-36-101, l3-36-102,13-36-103, 13-36-104, 13-36-201, 13-36-202, 13-36-203, 13-36-206,13-36-207, 13-36-209, 13-36-210, 13-36-211, 13-36-212, 13-37-127,13-37-216, 13-37-218, 13-38-101, AND 13-38-201, MCA; REPEALING SECTIONS 13-10-302, 13-10-303, 13-10-305, 13-10-311, 13-10-502,13-10-503, 13-10-507, 13-10-601, 13-10-602, 13-10-604, AND 13-38-204, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE AND AN APPLICABILITY DATE.

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