Alerts & Actions
MHRN 2023 LEGISLATIVE SUMMARY, WEEK 12
We’ve got a frenzy of hearings this week, so grab your laptops and get ready to tell your legislators why you support or oppose the bills below.
Since there are so many bills this week, we’re going to focus on the ones that have hearings. Why? Because hearings give you the chance to testify in person or online and tell legislators directly what you think about the laws that will impact your life.
If you can’t make it to a hearing, no problem! You can still share your perspective with your legislators and committee members. We’ve collected all of the links and information you need to send an email, make a call, or testify in person or on Zoom.
KEEP READING FOR ACTION ITEMS ON LGBTQ RIGHTS, INDIGENOUS SOVEREIGNTY, AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS!
How to contact your legislators
It’s easy to contact them by phone or email, so don’t be shy about sharing your thoughts with them.
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.
- Click here to sign up to testify via Zoom, even if you live hundreds of miles from Helena. You must register by 5 pm on the day before a hearing.
Use our online action forms! If we have one active, it will be linked here.
Last week, it was frustrating to watch SB 99 pass through the House Judiciary Committee and the House. Now it heads to the Governor’s desk, so please tell Gov. Gianforte that this bill is misleading and harmful to Montanans. Please remember that even if he signs, there are several groups in Montana that are poised to fight this in the courts. We will do everything we can to make sure this bill never gets implemented.
HB 361 has a hearing on Monday morning. Bill sponsor Rep. Brandon Ler (R-Savage) is trying to convince legislators and Montanans that it’s okay to deadname and misgender public school students who already face bullying and discrimination. The previous hearing and floor discussion on this bill was full of cruel statements and completely ignored the hostility that transgender, nonbinary, and Two Spirit students face. Please tell the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote no.
HB 303 would allow any employee at any medical facility to refuse to treat anyone for any reason of “conscience” without consequences. It’s that extreme. Bill sponsor Rep. Amy Regier says the bill rejects “procedures, not people,” but there’s literally no procedure without a patient attached. Please tell the committee and your Senator to vote no on this bill.
Updates on the Slate of Hate
No on SB 458 – SB 458’s journey will be interesting since the Senate Democrats revealed that it contradicts federal requirements. Montana could lose $7 BILLION in federal funding by passing this bill. We’re waiting for this bill to be scheduled in the House Judiciary Committee.
No on HB 234 – Attempts to classify diverse stories and books as “obscene” and punish school librarians for having them in school libraries. Please send messages to the Senate Education and Cultural Resources Committee.
No on HB 359 – the drag show ban is waiting for a hearing in Senate Judiciary. We’ll let you know when a hearing is scheduled so we can have a huge turnout.
Please enjoy this article about the members of the Montana American Indian Caucus. They have put together a number of powerful bills this session that will support the lives and futures of Indigenous people throughout the state.
Friday, March 31, is a full day with hearings on Indian language preservation and Indian Education for All in the Senate Education and Cultural Resources Committee. Please tell the committee members to vote yes. HB 287 increases the role of Tribal nations in language preservation and gives the Office of Public instruction oversight. HB 338, the Indian Education for All Act, reinforces the requirements to teach public school students about the past and present of sovereign Tribal nations in Montana.
Yes on SJ 6 –This bill would recognize the harm done by Indian Boarding Schools and recommend a National Day of Recognition. It has had good support and should be scheduled for a vote on the Senate floor soon. Please tell your Senator to vote yes.
Yes on SB 119 – Offers a tax exemption for Indigenous landowners who are changing the status of the private land they own on a reservation to trust land. This is one small factor that helps undo decades of land theft that occurred from the Dawes Act of 1887. This bill had a hearing in the House Taxation Committee and is awaiting a vote. Please tell them to vote yes.
Yes on HB 317 –The Montana ICWA bill had a successful hearing in the Senate Public Health, Welfare, and Safety Committee on Wednesday. Please tell that committee to vote yes on the bill.
We’re looking at a lineup of conspiracy theories about law enforcement, the U.S. Constitution, and free and fair elections in hearings this week!
No on SB 272 – Senator Theresa Manzella proposed a constitutional amendment to enshrine the extra-legal concept of “constitutional sheriffs” into the Montana Constitution. Click here for more information about the problems with this misinterpretation of the constitution. SB 272 has a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, March 29. Please tell the committee to vote no.
No on HJ 9 – This is a resolution attempting to legitimize a pro-militia conspiracy theory by enshrining misinformation about the “original” 13th Amendment in the Montana Historical Society. This bill has a hearing in the Senate Education Committee on Monday, March 27. Please tell that committee to vote no.
No on HB 712 – This bill forbids undocumented immigrants from voting in Montana elections, ignoring the fact that they are already prohibited from voting. This wasteful and redundant bill is rooted in debunked conspiracy theories and racism, so let’s get rid of it. HB 712 has a hearing in the Senate State Administration Committee, so let’s tell them to table it.
No on HB 405 – This bill is lifted from pro-militia groups and would allow a tiny fraction of county residents to convene a grand jury against someone. HB 405 is waiting for a vote from the House Judiciary Committee, so please tell them to vote no.
No on SB 222 – This bill, which has had no supporters in its hearings, bans diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) education and trainings for state employees. DEI curriculum helps state employees better serve Montanans from all backgrounds. It is waiting for a vote in the House State Administration Committee. Please tell them to vote no.
No on SB 109 – This bill, sponsored by Keith Regier (R-Kalispell) creates gerrymandered Public Service Commission districts. Towns and counties would be split up in a way that will give an advantage to extremists over moderates. It is waiting for a vote in the House Energy Committee, so please tell them to vote no.
Seven (!!) anti-choice bills have hearings in the legislature this week. If you were upset about the removal of federal protections for abortion care, please encourage friends to write a couple of emails objecting to these dangerous bills.
NO on HB 862 – Prohibits the use of public funding for abortion, with very few exceptions. This bill erases the reality that abortion care is necessary in pregnancy emergencies and discriminates against people with lower incomes. The hearing is in the House Judiciary Committee on Monday, March 27, so please tell them to vote no.
NO on SB 721 – Mischaracterizes and attempts to ban abortion procedures that are needed in emergency situations, especially when it is discovered that a fetus has health problems that make it incompatible with life. This bill has a hearing on Tuesday, March 28, in the Senate Judiciary Committee. There’s still time to sign up to testify against this bill!
No on HB 625 – Copycat of LR-131, which was soundly defeated by Montana voters. HB 625 has a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday morning. Please tell the committee to table this cruel bill, which prevents families from accessing compassionate care during pregnancy emergencies.
Yes on HB 879 – Makes the Montana Department of Health and Human Services create a counseling program for people who have had abortions. There is a hearing in the House Human Services Committee on Monday, March 27.
No on HB 873 – Requires burial for post-miscarriage and post-abortion fetal tissue. Like LR-141 and HB 625, this would force people to make an unnecessary, burdensome decision during a difficult time. This has a hearing in the House Human Services Committee on Monday, March 27.
No on HB 575 – A forced birth bill which does not allow for abortions later in pregnancy. This bill is especially cruel because many pregnancy emergencies do not happen until later in pregnancy. This has a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, March 28.
No on HB 786 – Creates unnecessary bureaucracy and government interference related to medication abortion. This has a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, March 28.
If you have questions or need help with talking points, please reach out to us at email@example.com!