Saturday, April 01, 2023

Working to represent rural Missoula County

| February 15, 2023 12:00 AM

As a representative in Montana, I was elected on the promise that I would represent the needs and interests of the rural residents of Missoula County.

Currently, I am working on several bills that intend to do just that.

The first bill I am honored to sponsor involves revising the eligibility for disabled veteran property tax assistance programs. Essentially this bill will amend the law to exclude income from sources such as retirement benefits, or Social Security benefits, in unusual circumstances.

The bill outlines unusual circumstances of income such as medical and funeral expenses for the veteran and their immediate family, major home and vehicle repairs, as well as education or career training.

I firmly believe that by removing income in those unusual circumstances from adjusted gross income calculations for the eligibility of disabled veteran property tax assistance programs, we can show our support for the men and woman who sacrificed for our country, while making sure our veterans and their families can stay in their homes.

In addition, I will be sponsoring a bill to ensure the senior and disabled communities continue to have life essential rides from their local transit providers. Due to supply chain issues in the bus industry, buses that were ordered three years ago at $90,000 are now costing $120,000. Many of these small rural systems can’t raise the additional funds to accept delivery of the bus. This simple change will provide your local Senior Center, Council on Aging, Tribal Transit or urban paratransit service with that additional local match.

I continue to look for ways to serve the people of House District 97 and greatly appreciate all of you who have contacted me with your insight.

— Rep. Lyn Hellegaard, R-Missoula

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