Montana Legislature Update – April 19, 2021

No bill is officially defeated until the legislative session is adjourned, but here are some we opposed that are probably dead:

1) SB 159 would have lowered the top income tax rate.

2) SB 100 would have made it more difficult for Montanans to qualify for public assistance programs.

3) HB 337 would have given the same constitutional rights to a fertilized egg as to an adult in order to ban access to abortion and possibly some birth control.

4) SB 260 would have discouraged the state from regulating all kinds of industries, affecting environmental regulation, public safety, and welfare.

5) HB 244 would have changed requirements for drugs to be used for executions and would have resulted in a slower, more painful death.

6) HB 406 would have placed new restrictions on absentee ballot collection. 

Bills we oppose that are still alive:

1) HB 112 which prevents transgender youth from participating in school sports was approved by the Senate with an amendment that the House refused to adopt, so it goes to a conference committee on Tuesday, 4/19. Since Montana could lose chances to host NCAA tournaments, the voices of business owners would be particularly effective. The best action now is to ask the governor to veto.

2) HB 279 increases 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. It is now in the Senate Finance and Claims Committee.  Contact the committee and your senator.

3) SB 379 would put Montana ratepayers on the hook for NorthWestern Energy’s investments in Colstrip, an aging coal-fired electric plant, costing households an extra $700/year for 21 years with no guarantee it would continue to provide power. All members of the Public Service Commission testified against it and Montana newspapers have called it the “worst bill of the session.” It is hanging out in the House Energy, Technology, and Federal Relations Committee.  Contact the committee and your representative.

Phone 406-444-3111 to contact Governor Greg Gianforte.

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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