Ever since 1969, over 1000 bills get introduced in the Montana legislature each legislative session. Arguably, no bill introduced in the recent past has been more important than HB 573, sponsored by Representative Brad Tschida (93).
In summary, HB 573 puts the regulation of Big-Tech under the watchful eye of the Montana Public Service Commission while also sending a strong message to Silicon Valley that the Montana Legislature is not putting up with censorship in Montana any longer.
Public Service Commissioner Jennifer Fielder stated the following when asked to comment on HB 573 and the role of the Montana PSC:
“The legislature decides what industries the PSC regulates. Among other things, we presently regulate the largest energy companies in Montana. So the idea of taking on huge monopolies is not new. That’s actually what the PSC was created to do. If the legislature tasks us with regulating big tech companies to ensure all Montanans are being treated fairly by these monopolies, then that is what we will do.” – Jennifer Fielder PSC District 4
Montana Daily Gazette has covered the journey of HB 573 from its inception, while also following the track for the other 2 Big-Tech censorship bills introduced by Representative Sheldon-Galloway (HD 22), HB 587, and HB 597.
The Public Service Commission will have a big role in the regulation of tech censorship if HB 573 is passed into law, something Tony O’ Donnell from District 2 thinks it’s time for.
“If not Montana, then who? If not now, when? The entirety of the bedrock of our ‘experiment ‘ in representative government is a “well informed electorate ” and its absolute necessity is free exchange of ideas. Without this, all is lost.” – Tony O’Donnell PSC District 2
No good bill can get passed with out a good team and each team needs a good head coach. For HB 573, the team consisted of Representative Brad Tschida, Commissioner Randy Pinocci and “head coach” Martin Lynch, an expert on constitutional processes. When reached for comment on Lynch, Commissioner Pinocci said the following:
“Our team’s head coach was a man named Martin Lynch. Lynch brought us here and we couldn’t have done this without him.” – Randy Pinocci PSC District 1
Coach Martin Lynch, Representative Brad Tschida, and Commissioner Randy Pinocci all joined Jim White from Montana Gazette Radio recently to discuss the passage of HB 573 out of committee and what’s in store next for this most important piece of legislation.