Alerts & Actions
MHRN 2023 LEGISLATIVE SUMMARY, WEEK 4
It was a big week in Helena, which wrapped up with a very long hearing on Senator John Fuller’s harmful anti-transgender bill, SB 99. This bill was designed to cut off trans, nonbinary, and Two Spirit youth from caring professionals and gender-affirming care.
The good news is that opponents to SB 99 turned out in huge numbers! Transgender Montanans, parents, physicians, and Montana residents from every corner of the state turned out to say that SB 99 is wrong for Montana! We are especially proud of the many transgender youth who stood in their power and told their truths today. Let’s do right by these courageous souls and keep up momentum against SB 99. Read more below on what to do next!
Top action items!
Tell your Senator to say no to SB 99.
Tell your Senator to support SJ 6.
KEEP READING FOR ACTION ITEMS ON LGBTQ RIGHTS, INDIGENOUS SOVEREIGNTY AND REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOMS!
Write or call 2-3 times each week!
Thanks for responding to our calls for action! We know that we can score some big wins if a few more people commit to sending 2 to 3 emails a week on the 2 to 3 bills they care about most. Our updates will help make this simple and manageable, so stay tuned!
How to contact your legislators
We’re very lucky to have many legislators who are responsive to their constituents. Please feel free to reach out as often as you like to give them your perspective on bills. It’s easy to contact them by phone or email. Here are a few tips!
Look up your legislators here.
Call the very friendly Capitol operators at (406) 444-4800. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, and you can leave messages for up to 5 individual legislators or 1 legislative committee per call.
Send an email using contact information from the legislative roster or using the online email form. The email form is especially helpful when you’re emailing an entire committee.
Use our online action forms! If we have one active, it’ll be linked here
Say NO to the Slate of Hate
We’re calling anti-LGBTQ+ bills the Slate of Hate because they’re designed to incite fear, restrict access to healthcare, deny people the right to live as their authentic selves, and take away the freedom of expression. Here are the Slate of Hate bills of the week.
Say NO to HB 234
Action on HB 234 – Please take a few moments to tell the House Judiciary Committee to reject HB 234 in full, even if amended. HB 234 claims to protect minors from “obscene” materials but actually infringes on the right to access information.
This bill is unnecessary and misleading. Museums and libraries in public schools and our communities have trained, professional staff who use time-tested procedures for choosing age-appropriate materials for patrons. While some people have voiced personal objections to certain books, these challenges incited by national attack groups have overwhelmingly failed, and no books have been banned from libraries in public schools or public libraries in Montana.
Say NO to SB 99
SB 99 action – The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on SB 99 soon. If you sent a message about this bill last week, feel free to send another one. As a reminder, SB 99 is an extreme bill that interferes with the rights of trans, nonbinary, and Two Spirit people to access medical care and support from educators and other professionals. Click here for more information and to say no to SB 99.
Action on SJ 6 – Please tell your Senator to support this bill.
SJ 6 would recognize the trauma and harm done to Indigenous communities through the Indian boarding school system, which forcibly took children away from their families for over a century. The joint resolution would also urge the United States Congress to designate a National Day of Remembrance for the Native American children who died while attending a United States Indian boarding school.
Action on HB 18 – The House Judiciary Committee approved this bill, please contact your Representative and tell them to support HB 18. HB 18 will establish a missing persons response team training program and grant fund that will help search and rescue teams have a quicker response to missing persons reports. This bill is a necessary step in addressing Montana’s missing and murdered Indigenous people crisis.
Action on HB 163 – Please contact your Representative and tell them to support HB 163.
HB 163 will extend the Montana Department of Justice’s Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force through 2025.
SB 119 update – This bill passed unanimously in the Senate, and we will let you know when it is assigned for a hearing in the House.
SB 119 will provide tax exemptions for tribal members who own fee land and are in the process of converting that land to trust. The bill is an important step in affirming tribal sovereignty and helps Tribes and their members address the ravages of past federal policies like the Dawes Act. Click here to find out more about this bill.
NO on SB 154
SB 154 update – This bill passed third reading on the Senate floor 28 to 21. We will let you know when it is assigned for a hearing in the House. SB 154 would chip away at the personal right to privacy by excluding abortion care from constitutional protections. This defies the Montana Constitution and the Armstrong decision, which specifically protects the right to abortion in our state.
NO on HB 213
Action on HB 213 – The House Judiciary Committee passed this bill for a certificate of nonviable birth with amendments to make it optional. This is an attempt to establish fetal personhood, with sweeping consequences for reproductive rights. This moves to the House floor, please tell your Representative to vote no on HB 213.
SB 140 update – Good news! This bill, which would have made union organizing more difficult in healthcare settings, was tabled in committee.
Action on HB 216 – This bill will have a vote in the House State Administration Committee, so please tell them to vote no.
HB 216 is a union-busting bill that contains a lot of unnecessary language stating that public employees are not required to be part of a union. The language implies that union membership is coerced, and the restrictions these two bills enact represent government overreach and an assault on the freedom of speech. This is dangerous misinformation that should not be codified into public law. Public and private sector workers like nurses, educators, police, and state troopers who protect, serve, educate, and care for Montana citizens deserve to have the freedom to organize without burdensome restrictions.