Alerts & Actions
MHRN 2023 LEGISLATIVE SUMMARY, WEEK 16
Only two weeks left in the 2023 Montana Legislative Session! We’re giving our time and attention to the bills listed below, but our top priority this week is defending First Amendment rights and transgender rights by supporting Rep. Zooey Zephyr.
Please take a few moments to send her a message of support and tell House Speaker Matt Regier and House Republicans that it unacceptable to silence Rep. Zephyr or anyone because they’re having an emotional reaction to hearing the consequences of the anti-transgender legislation they’re passing.
Keep reading for bill updates!
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.
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.
“Parental rights” bills have been the hot topic for the past two weeks. These bills impact LGBTQ+ students by removing privacy protections that could out students to abusive parents. The concern is that abusive parents could then use the information to cut students off from trustworthy professionals.
No to HB 676 – A “parental rights” bill that removes privacy protections for children’s medical care. Amendments are being considered by the House so please tell your Representative to vote no on the bill and amendments.
No on SB 518 – Another “parental rights” bill that attacks that privacy rights for students and public schools. This will likely have a vote on the House floor next week, so please tell your Representative to vote no.
Updates on the Slate of Hate
No on SB 99 – Gov. Gianforte’s amendments to define “sex” in a similar way to SB 458 were approved in the House this week. Please to stop spreading misinformation about medical care for transgender, nonbinary, Two Spirit, and intersex people and veto this 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 and could cause Montana to lose up to $7 billion in funding. This bill was approved by the House, so please tell Gov. Gianforte to veto it.
Update on HB 359 – An amendment removed all references to drag from this bill, so it looks like drag events are safe in Montana! The amended bill has floor votes next week. Thanks for your efforts to protect drag!
Update on HB 234 – Amendments removed any penalties for libraries, schools, and museums, so it looks like this attempt at book censorship has been eliminated. This amended bill has floor votes next week, so we’ll keep you posted.
Major Senate changes have gutted HB 317 (Montana Indian Child Protection Act) and HB 338 (Indian Education for All). Once those bills emerge from some committee votes, we’ll tell you how and when to contact your legislators.
Yes on SJ 6 –Please tell Gov. Gianforte to approve this bill, which would recognize the harm done by Indian Boarding Schools and recommend a National Day of Recognition.
Thank you for your efforts that helped us score major victories this week! Theresa Manzella’s bill to enshrine “constitutional sheriffs” into the Montana Constitution (SB 272) was withdrawn! HB 915, a proposed a Constitutional Amendment which would have removed our right to vote for Montana Supreme Court Justices, failed to pass the Senate.
No on SB 109 – Please tell Gov. Gianforte to veto this bill, which 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.
Veto is the theme for action items this week! Please tell Gov. Gianforte to veto these bills, which are headed for his desk.
SB 154 – Claims the right to abortion is not protected under the right to privacy in the Montana Constitution.
HB 303 – Allows any health care provider or employee to refuse any service for any reason without consequences. Bill supporters said they will want to give medical providers the right to refuse patients seeking abortion and gender affirming care.
HB 575 – Requires an unnecessary ultrasound prior to an abortion and does not allow for abortions later in pregnancy. This bill is especially cruel because many pregnancy complications do not happen until later in pregnancy.
If you have questions or need help with talking points, please reach out to us at email@example.com!