Montana Legislature Update – March 15, 2021

From among the hundreds of bills moving through the legislature, the Social Justice Action Team has selected a few to highlight. We encourage anybody to pick one or two that are near your heart as an expression of your Christian faith. Then take action by contacting a legislative committee or your own representative or senator as listed. We wouldn’t be unhappy if you acted on more!

The following bills are still alive, and we recommend taking action against them:

1) HB 259 takes away local initiative to increase affordable housing by prohibiting Montana cities and towns from enacting inclusionary zoning which requires a certain percentage of affordable housing within an area.  Contact the (S) Local Government Committee and your senator.

2) SB 215, called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, allows the use of religion as an excuse to discriminate against and harm others. Contact the (H) Judiciary Committee and your representative.

3) HB 427 bans some gender-affirming healthcare to minors. This is very similar to HB 113 which was defeated in the House. Contact the (S) Judiciary Committee and your state senator.

4) HB 112 prevents transgender youth from participating in school sports. Contact the (S) Judiciary Committee and your senator.

5) SB 280 forces transgender people to have surgery in order to get a court order to change gender on a birth certificate. Contact the (H) Judiciary Committee and your representative.

6) HB 121 allows the governor or local officials to overturn recommendations issued by county health boards. Contact (S) Business, Labor & Economic Affairs Committee and your senator.

7) HB 279 increases the allowable tax credit for individuals and corporations for donations to private and for-profit schools from $150 to $200,000 at the expense of funds available for public schools.  Contact the (H) Education Committee and your representative.

In case it appears we are always against legislation, graphics on the March 15 email blast show bills we would like to see passed:

1) HB 235 creates nutrition incentives for SNAP.

2) HB 35 establishes a missing persons review committee & HB 36 establishes missing persons response team training grants to combat the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People.

3) HB 613 revises tribal voting requirements to remove some hardships.

Phone 406-444-4800 to leave a message for a legislator or a committee.  Go to https://leg.mt.gov to leave a web message for a legislator or committee or to sign up to testify.

For updates on other bills, go to Key Issues and Bills at www.gallatinvalleymethodists.com or Look Up Bill Information at https://leg.mt.gov .

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