Montana Legislature Update – Feb. 8, 2021

Bills we have been tracking for weeks:

HB 112—prevent trans youth from participating in sports, passed the House and transmitted to the Senate, committee assignment unknown as of 2/7.

HB 102—allow for permitless open carry and force colleges to allow guns on campuses, passed both houses and is headed to the governor’s desk.

HB 121—require elected officials approval of local health board and officer actions was re-referred to committee, now in the House Business and Labor Committee.

HB 35—establish a Missing Persons Review Committee, passed the House and is now in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

HB 36—establish missing persons response team training, passed the House and is also in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Bills we started tracking last week:

HB 176—repeal same-day voting registration law and close late voter registration at noon the day before Election Day, taken off the table, passed the House, transmitted to Senate, committee assignment unknown as of 2/7.

HB 200—prohibits sanctuary cities in Montana though none currently exist, passed the House and is in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

HB 223—compel local law enforcement officers to be pulled into immigration issues, could increase racial profiling and erode trust between police and Montana residents, passed House Judiciary Committee and is headed to the House floor.

Other bills to watch:

SB 138—would repeal a temporary tax exemption for tribal properties applying for federal trust status.  The exemption starts when an application for tax exempt status is filed, a process that can take years.  The exemption has helped tribes restore and protect lands that were taken from them.  Now in the Senate Taxation Committee.

HB 241—would allow a state agency, not tribal nations, to make decisions about hunting on reservation lands.  State authorities and tribal governments work together successfully.  Opponents say there is no reason for this attack on treaty rights.

HB 228—would establish the Montana Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act, especially needed during the COVID pandemic, hearing in the House Business and Labor Committee on Feb. 10.

Action:  If a bill is still in a committee 1) call 406-444-4800 and leave a message for the whole committee or individual legislators OR 2) go to https://leg.mt.gov/ and send a message on the web.  Say whether you want them to vote yes or no and a sentence or two about why. It doesn’t have to be long.  OR 3) sign up on the website to give testimony.

If the bill has passed committee and is in either the House of Representatives or the Senate, use the same phone number or website to contact your representative or senator as appropriate.

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