MTLeg Weekly Debrief: Week Of Jan 30 – Feb 3

MTLeg Weekly Debrief: Week Of Jan 30 – Feb 3

The Frontier Institute has identified six new Key Bills, twenty-four Red Tape Relief Bills passing floor votes and two Key Bill Updates for the week of January 30th - February 3rd, 2023

SB 214 requires Montana to automatically recognize a license for an audiologist or speech-language pathologist from another state in the Audio and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact. Frontier Institute has recommended that the legislature go even farther, making the pandemic model of universal licensure recognition permanent.

Current Status: Senate Business, Labor and Economic Affairs Committee hearing was held on January 31st

SB 227 follows Frontier Institute and the Montana Housing Task Force’s recommendation for state and local governments to pursue creating self-certification programs to speed up permit reviews. These programs allow registered professionals to bypass the normal permit process and get permits approved quickly as long as they’ve passed a certification program and undergo random audits.

Current Status: Senate Local Government Committee hearing scheduled for February 1st at 3PM

HB 313 authorizes physician assistants (PA’s) to practice independently, without requiring the supervision of doctors. Evidence has shown PA’s perform just as well as doctors in terms of patient outcomes, and PA’s have been authorized to practice independently in several nearby states. HB 313 follows Frontier Institute’s general recommendations to increase healthcare access by expanding the ability of current Montana practitioners to care for their patients.

Current Status: House Business and Labor Committee hearing scheduled for February 3rd at 8:30AM

HB 324 would place a limit on the growth of local government budgets to protect taxpayers. HB 324 would limit the growth of expenditures to no greater than the rate of population growth plus inflation, a key benchmark for fiscal responsibility. Frontier Institute’s 2023 Real Local Budgets report showed that major Montana local governments have grown their budgets faster than population growth plus inflation, burdening taxpayers with millions in excessive spending.

Current Status: Referred to House Local Government Committee

HB 326 is in response to the Joint Select Committee on Judicial Accountability and Transparency’s report on Judicial bias. This bill seeks to rebalance the Judicial Standards Commission (JSC), the oversight body for the Judiciary, to ensure greater independent oversight. Currently, three of the five members of the JSC are appointed by the Supreme Court. If passed, two members, both district judges, will be appointed and confirmed by the House Speaker and Senate, respectively. The Attorney General will appoint the third member, an attorney.

Current Status: House Judiciary Committee hearing held on January 31st

HB 337 follows Frontier Institute recommendation to implement Recommendation 2A from the Montana Housing Task Force, which would prohibit excessive minimum lot areas in cities greater than 2,500 sq ft. in areas served by water and sewer. HB 337 will give landowners more freedom to build affordable starter homes which are desperately needed in Montana cities.

Current Status: House Local Government Committee hearing held on January 31st

  • 18 Bill hearings scheduled
  • 2 Bill drafts in assembly
  • 19 Bills Passed Senate Committee
  • 5 Bills Passed House Committee
  • 13 Bills Passed House Floor
  • 11 Bills Passed Senate Floor

To track the status of all of these Red Tape Relief Bills CLICK HERE.

Key Bill Updates:

HB 21: Amendments available.
SB 201: Amendments available.

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