Alerts & Actions
MHRN 2023 LEGISLATIVE SUMMARY, WEEK 13
We’re in the final weeks of the legislative session, and the news has been tough. Lots of harmful bills had hearings and were passed out of committee this week, and that’s hard on everyone defending LGBTQ+ rights, pushing back against extremism, and protecting reproductive rights.
We’re not backing down.
This week and every week, we’re showing up at the Capitol and online to state facts and reject attacks on our constitutional rights and safety. Please keep speaking up. We can’t let extremist legislators think they’ve bullied us into silence.
And if you are able, a donation today helps us keep you informed and ensure that we are able to keep momentum until the session gavels out in May.
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.
The Slate of Hate has grown to include two “parental rights” bills that make it easier for abusive parents to prevent children from getting help from trusted adults. HB 676 removes privacy protections for children’s medical care, and SB 518 attacks privacy rights for students. We’re asking you to tell your legislators to vote no on these bills and all of the anti-LGBTQ+ bills that are still active.
Updates on the Slate of Hate
No on HB 676 – Waiting for a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee, so please tell them to vote no.
No on SB 518 – Passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, unfortunately, so tell your Senator to vote no.
No on HB 359 – The drag show ban is top priority for this week! This bill has a hearing scheduled for 8am on Tuesday, April 4 in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Please tell the committee to reject this bill because it infringes on free speech and the freedom of private businesses to host events. Click here to register to testify online or here to leave a message for the committee.
No on HB 361 – Gives students permission to deadname and misgender transgender and nonbinary students. This bill had a hearing in Senate Judiciary last week and passed 7-4. Please tell your Senator to vote no, since this will head for a vote on the floor soon.
No on HB 303 – Would allow any employee at any medical facility to refuse to treat anyone for any reason of “conscience” without consequences. Tell the Senate Public Health, Welfare, and Safety Committee to vote no on this extreme bill.
No on SB 458 – Would define “sex” in the binary as male and female using inaccurate definitions that are not supported by medical professionals. This bill would erase the existence of trans and nonbinary people could cause Montana to lose up to $7 billion in funding.
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, where this bill will have a hearing soon.
We are grateful that these bills are getting bipartisan support and are passing easily through committees. Please confirm your support for Indigenous sovereignty, education, and culture.
Yes on SJ 6 –his bill would recognize the harm done by Indian Boarding Schools and recommend a National Day of Recognition. It passed the House Energy, Technology, and Federal Relations Committee 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. The House Taxation Committee approved this bill, so please tell your Representative to vote yes.
Yes on HB 317 –The Montana ICWA bill had a successful hearing in the Senate Public Health, Welfare, and Safety Committee! Please tell that committee to vote yes on the bill.
Yes on 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. This bill had a hearing in Senate Education this week, so please tell the committee and your senator to vote yes.
Yes on HB 287 increases the role of Tribal nations in language preservation and gives the Office of Public instruction oversight. This bill had a hearing in Senate Education this week, so please tell the committee and your senator to vote yes.
Let’s start with the good news: two terrible bills were tabled! HB 405 on grand juries and SB 222, which would have banned diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) education and trainings for state employees, were both tabled this week. Thank you for sending messages opposing these harmful, unnecessary bills.
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. Please tell your Senator to vote no.
No on HB 915 – This proposed constitutional amendment would take away power from Montana voters to elect our Supreme Court judges. The governor would appoint Supreme Court judges, and the Montana Senate would confirm them. This would allow partisan operatives to stack the court. Please tell your Representative to vote no on this dangerous bill, which passed the House Judiciary Committee this week.
No on HB 712 – This unnecessary 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 passed the Senate State Administration Committee, so tell your Senator 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.
The number of hearings on anti-choice bills this week was staggering. It’s clear that certain legislators and organizations are determined to destroy the freedoms that patients and doctors have to use best practices in reproductive care.
Please contact legislators in the committees or legislative chambers below to push back on these antagonistic bills.
No on HB 625 – Copycat of LR-131, which was soundly defeated by Montana voters. This bill prevents families from accessing compassionate care during pregnancy emergencies
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.
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.
No on HB 786 – Creates unnecessary bureaucracy and government interference related to medication abortion.
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.
No on HB 968 – This bill removes privacy for minors seeking abortions, which means that children abused by parents could be forced to carry a pregnancy to term or could be abused for revealing that they are pregnant.
Tabled – no action needed!
HB 879 – Would have made the Montana Department of Health and Human Services create a counseling program for people who have had abortions.
HB 873 – Would have required 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.
If you have questions or need help with talking points, please reach out to us at email@example.com!