Montana Legislature Update – March 29, 2021

This week has lots of crucial bills running through the legislature that affect LGBTQ+ rights, economic justice, voting rights, immigrants’ rights, reproductive justice, Indigenous justice, and more. Below is our list of bills we are tracking down for this week as many of those are approaching being passed in the legislature. We’re in the 7th inning of Montana’s state legislature and now is time to contact our legislators before it is too late. We need to remind the people who represent us about values based upon equality, justice, and loving our neighbor.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” – Matthew 22:37-40

LGBTQ Justice:

1) HB 112 would prevent transgender youth from participating in school sports will have a Senate vote this week. Contact your senator.

2) HB 427 would prevent trans youth under 18 from getting gender-affirming surgery will have a Senate vote this week. Contact your senator.

3) SB 215 would establish the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and allows the use of religion as a justification to use discriminatory behavior based on sincerely held religious beliefs is headed to the House floor. It passed the Senate narrowly, so contacting your representative could be effective.

4) SB 280 would require surgery and a court order to the change gender marker on a birth certificate had a fiery hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on Friday, but the committee did not vote.  Contact committee members and your representative.

This may be the last chance to give input on these bills regarding LGBTQ+ rights.

Economic Justice:

1) HB 279 would increase the allowable tax credit for individuals and corporations for donations to private and for-profit schools from $150 to $200,000, a tax break for the wealthy at the expense of funds available for public schools. A hearing is scheduled on 3/30 in the (H) Appropriations Committee.  Contact the committee and your representative.  If passed, it will still need to go to the Senate.

Voting Rights:

1) SB 169 would require photo IDs to register to vote and vote in person. It could have several consequences to disenfranchise Montana voters., especially against student, elderly, and Indigenous voters. It passed in the House but has returned to the Senate with amendments. Contact your senators.

Immigrants’ Rights:

1) HB 223 would require local law enforcement to participate in the enforcement by federal immigration agents (ICE). This bill could increase racial profiling across Montana and create an unwelcoming climate for immigrants and refugees. It passed in the Senate but has returned to the House with amendments. Contact your representatives.

Reproductive Justice:

1) HB 337 would give constitutional rights to a fertilized egg to ban access to abortion and possibly some birth control. This bill passed the House and is in the (S) Judiciary Committee.  Contact committee members and your senator.

Indigenous Justice:

1) HB 35 would establish a missing persons review committee and HB 36 which establishes missing persons response team training grants to combat the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People both appear headed for legislative approval.

2) HB 613 would revise tribal voting requirements to remove some hardships, was unanimously approved by the House committee, and is scheduled for 2nd reading in the House on 3/29.

Other Issues:

1) HB 273 would ease restrictions on nuclear energy development by removing a voter approval process and pulling nuclear energy plants from the purview of the Major Facility Siting Act. It had a hearing in the (S) Energy and Telecommunications Committee and, if passed there will go to the Senate floor. Contact committee members and your senator.

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: