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Rundown of Proposals that Survived Transmittal Deadline
Flathead lawmakers have wide range of measures moving through Legislature
The House of Representatives is seen in session during the 63rd Legislative Session in Helena. - Lido Vizzutti | Flathead Beacon
Flathead lawmakers saw a number of their proposals survive the Feb. 28 general bill transmittal deadline and pass out of their respective chamber for consideration in the other legislative chamber.

The following is a rundown of those bills. The list does not include bills yet to be introduced or debated on the floor, or that have already been signed into law. There are upcoming March 28 and April 5 deadlines for appropriations and revenue bills, which aren’t discussed here.

Senators:

Sen. Dee Brown, R-Hungry Horse, is the sponsor of a joint resolution calling on the governor to establish a Canada trade center in Calgary. The bill, which passed out of the Senate with a vote of 45-5, has a March 14 hearing in the House business and labor committee.

Brown has also sponsored a bill revising laws for home canners and gardeners, exempting the exchange of certain foods and beverages from food safety regulations. That measure cleared the Senate on Jan. 30 with a 29-20 vote and was scheduled for a March 12 hearing in the House agriculture committee.

Sen. Verdell Jackson, R-Kalispell, has sponsored a bill extending the Montana Water Rights Compact Commission past its scheduled expiration this year to July 1, 2015. The commission is looking to finalize its last remaining tribal water compact with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. His measure passed the Senate 31-19.

Jackson also has a joint resolution encouraging the dissemination of information by conservation districts “on the use of voluntary streamside best management practices.” The Senate passed the measure 46-4 and it has been referred to the House natural resources committee.

Sen. Jon Sonju, R-Kalispell, has a proposal to revise automobile dealer franchise laws scheduled for a March 15 House transportation committee hearing after a 49-1 Senate vote. His measure revising certain processes for vehicle titles, registration and licensing passed the Senate 48-2 and has been referred to the House transportation committee.

Sonju has a bill to revise state information technology policy, which was approved unanimously 50-0. It was scheduled for a March 12 hearing in the House state administration committee.

He also has a proposal providing that federally qualified education savings plans from other states have the same tax advantages as allowed for the Montana family education savings plan. It has been referred to the House appropriations committee after unanimously clearing the Senate.

Sen. Bruce Tutvedt, R-Kalispell, has a full slate of bills moving through the Legislature. His bill revising open-cut mining laws – including requiring notice of inspections and fees for materials mined illegally – passed out of the Senate with a 48-2 vote. It was scheduled for a March 11 hearing in the House natural resources committee.

Tutvedt’s measure to revise the names of the corporation license tax and corporation income tax cleared the Senate unanimously and was scheduled for a March 11 hearing in the House taxation committee. Another bill to revise medical peer review laws to clarify definitions passed 48-2 and awaits a March 15 hearing in the House human services committee.

Tutvedt’s proposal to require subdivisions to submit information on whether the water and wastewater systems will be under the Public Service Commission’s jurisdiction passed unanimously 50-0 and was scheduled for a March 12 hearing in the House local government committee.

His measure to cut business equipment taxes passed out of the Senate 33-16 and has been transmitted to the House. He has another bill revising revenue estimate laws that passed 34-16.

Representatives:

Speaker of the House Mark Blasdel, R-Somers, is the primary sponsor of a joint resolution reaffirming Montana’s commitment to its economic and cultural relationship with Taiwan. The resolution cleared the House with a 94-4 vote.

Rep. Randy Brodehl, R-Kalispell, has a bill generally revising farm mutual insurance laws that passed the House 98-0. His proposal to revise candidate filing dates for community college trustees also passed unanimously 98-0.

A third Brodehl measure cleared the House with a much tighter 52-46 vote. That bill prohibits state employees from lobbying on state time about state agency policy matters before a legislative standing committee. The bill has been referred to the Senate state administration committee.

Freshman Rep. Carl Glimm, R-Kila, has a bill requiring the Department of Transportation to inspect construction, repair and public works contracts within 30 days of completion. It also puts a 90-day timeline on final payments for the contracts. The measure passed unanimously 98-0 and has been referred to the Senate highways and transportation committee.

Glimm has another proposal providing for department coordination on permits for large-scale projects. It cleared the House 87-11 has been referred to Senate natural resources committee.

Rep. Steve Lavin, R-Kalispell, is seeking to revise his 2011 measure that established the 24/7 Sobriety Program. That bill passed the House 94-4 and is scheduled for a March 18 hearing in the Senate judiciary committee.

Lavin’s proposal to create permits to salvage certain game accidentally killed by vehicles cleared the House 95-3 and had a March 7 hearing before the Senate fish and game committee.

His measure requiring an Environmental Quality Council eminent domain handbook in a condemnation complaint cleared both the House and then the Senate judiciary committee 12-0 unanimously. The Senate endorsed the bill on second reading unanimously 46-0 on March 9.

Lavin also has two landlord-related bills still alive. One measure revises laws related to tenant activities that may harm the premises. It has been referred to the Senate judiciary committee after clearing the House 63-35. Another bill expands justice courts’ jurisdiction in matters pertaining to security deposits and “actions based on the Montana Residential Mobile Home Lot Rental Act.” It is also in the Senate judiciary committee after passing the House unanimously.

Freshman Rep. Ed Lieser, the Flathead’s only Democrat from Whitefish, has a measure allowing for the increase of pension benefits for volunteer firefighters through local relief funds. It has been referred to the Senate state administration committee after passing the House 76-22.

Rep. Jerry O’Neil, R-Columbia Falls, has a bill stating that publicly owned solid waste management facilities are immune from civil action for injuries related to salvaging except in cases of gross negligence or willful misconduct. It passed the House 97-1 and has been referred to the Senate judiciary committee.

O’Neil’s resolution to amend the U.S. Constitution regarding foreign treaties passed the House 52-45 and has been referred to the Senate judiciary committee. His resolution amending the U.S. Constitution in regards to the commerce clause will get a March 15 hearing in the Senate state administration committee after clearing the House 49-46.

Rep. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, has a proposal to create criminal offenses for the “death of an unborn child” with exceptions. It has a March 25 hearing in the Senate judiciary committee after passing the House 59-40.

Regier’s measure to revise laws for small power-production facilities passed the House 59-39 and was scheduled for a March 12 hearing in the Senate energy and telecommunications committee. His resolution raising concerns about potential changes to federal power marketing administrations cleared the House 92-6 and has a March 14 hearing in the Senate energy and telecommunications committee.

Two of Regier’s bills faced March 11 hearings in the Senate state administration committee – one to revise legal holiday laws that passed the House 77-22 and another to clarify break-in-service requirements for post-retirement employment under the teachers’ retirement system that cleared the House 96-1.

Rep. Scott Reichner, R-Bigfork, has a proposal to revise campaign finance laws and increase the amount allowed for campaign contributions. The measure passed 58-40 and awaits a March 19 hearing in the Senate judiciary committee.

Reichner’s proposal to allow employers to fund the total cost of qualifying employees’ disability coverage in certain instances passed 96-1 and was referred to the Senate business, labor and economic affairs committee. His measure revising insurance provisions related to provider networks was referred to the Senate public health, welfare and safety committee after a 93-4 House endorsement.

He also saw his measure to revise medical lien laws pass the House 60-38. It has been referred to the Senate public health, welfare and safety committee. And his bill to revise applicability of extraterritorial workers’ compensation agreements passed both the House and Senate business, labor and economic affairs committee unanimously, and was scheduled for a second reading on the Senate floor on March 11.
 
On 03-12-13, RussCrowder commented....
Unfortunately, unlike South Dakota and other state legislatures, it seems that the Montana legislature doesn’t believe that our school teachers have a right to defend themselves….Go figure…
 
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