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Word on the street is that Montana State Senate President Jim Peterson (R-Buffalo) and State Sen. Shannon Augare (D-Browning) will have a little showdown on Fox News later this morning. The two will be discussing “The Code of the West” being promoted by Peterson.
Augare sent this message out via Twitter yesterday:
@shannonjaugare: I will be on FOX News out of New York tomorrow- Live- at 1030am. Sen. Peterson and I will square off over his Code of the West Bill. #mtleg
Fox News’ website has this from the AP:
Senate Bill 216 sponsored by Senate President Jim Peterson deals with the 10-point cowboy code from the book Cowboy Ethics by James P. Owen.
The code includes items such as “Live each day with courage,” “Be tough, but fair,” “Ride for the brand,” and “Know where to draw the line.”
Peterson, a Republican from Buffalo, said the bill is about setting an example and looking to the future. Supporters of the bill also called the code a measure of guidance to uphold values.
Democratic Sen. Shannon Augare, a Native American from Browning, opposed the bill, saying the cowboy’s code was not always favorable to the state’s original residents.
Meanwhile, State Senate Communications Aide Jessica Sena sent me this note from Senate President Jim Peterson:
Wednesday, February 9th
SB 216-Senate Bill 216, my “Code of the West” bill, passed the Senate yesterday along party lines, though it passed second reading with a vote of 34-15. Today I’ll speak to Fox News out of New York who has taken an interest on the subject.
Yesterday we heard from the “Code of the West” author and founder of the non-profit Center for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership, Jim Owen, who’s extremely excited to hear what’s happening here in Montana.
Wyoming adopted the same code last year, and since then, it’s served as the framework for education and business alike. Kent Noble, Assistant Dean of Wyoming College of Business wrote my office yesterday about a partnership between the Wyoming state Chambers of Commerce and the College of Business. Together, a “code of the west” inspired curriculum is being offered to businesses across the state, with a pilot program set to launch March 24th.
Trihydro and Jonah Bank are two of the businesses in the state who’ve already implemented the state code into their business operations. Trihydro is one of the top environmental engineering firms in the nation, and was voted Wyoming’s Largest Engineering Firm by the Wyoming Business Journal for five consecutive years, with over 270 employees and 13 offices nationwide.
Jonah Bank of Wyoming donated one “Cowboy Ethics” book for each classroom at Cherry Creek High School in Denver, and the school drafted a loose curriculum around the book. Lesson plans allow teachers to be flexible and creative, and according to teachers like Lisa Bratton, it adapts well to junior high classes. The Cherry Creek Principal Walt Wilcox said the program relates ethics, values and morals to school success.
Brent Hathaway, dean of the University Of Wyoming College Of Business said, “We use it as a framework to help our students think about how they would conduct themselves in the business world. It’s just become ingrained in our coursework and how we try to behave ourselves — it just made sense to kind of have that as an inspirational code that we want to live by.” I agree with these sentiments, and look forward to the positive impact this bill will have on business and education in Montana
We were sent to Helena with a tough job this session, and we realize have to think outside the box. The principles in the Code of the West remind us to make ethical considerations that foster a productive business climate.
Tom Ninness, Vice President & Regional Production Manager for Cherry Creek Mortgage in Denver, and President of Summit Champions Incorporated wrote a newsletter in The Niche Report business magazine entitled the “Code of the West in Business and in Sales,” which used Owen’s ten principles to outline a business strategy. This bill has significant merit and credibility, but most importantly, the support from many Montanans.