MTPR

Hanna's Act

Attorney General Tim Fox announces plans to hire a missing persons specialist, May 21, 2019.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

More than 120 people, including members of state, tribal and local law enforcement, attended a public training in Helena Wednesday. The daylong training, organized by Montana’s Department of Justice and Montana’s U.S. attorney, highlighted situations when indigenous persons go missing.

Community members carry signs and photographs of missing and murdered women and girls around UM's oval at the Native-led MMIW Vigil, Saturday, Janury 19, 2019.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Montana’s newly formed Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force met for the first time Tuesday in Helena. The task force of tribal members and state law enforcement gathered less than a month after a bill creating and funding the group became law.

For the next year and half the group will study the disproportionate rate at which Native American women and children go missing, and the coordination among agencies in finding them.

Attorney General Tim Fox announces plans to hire a missing persons specialist, May 21, 2019.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The Montana Department of Justice announced plans Tuesday to hire a new specialist focusing on missing persons cases in the state. The position was created during the last legislative session amid public outcry over the high rate of Native American women and girls who are murdered or go missing.

'Capitol Talk': Legislature Wraps-Up; Campaign Season Heats Up

Apr 26, 2019

Tonight on Capitol Talk: Big bills that passed, and ones that didn't; the split in the Republican party — and its consequences; Gov. Bullock's pending big announcement; and Attorney General Tim Fox's fondness for chicken.

'Hanna's Act' Missing Persons Bill Clears The State Senate

Apr 16, 2019
Sen. Diane Sands (D) - Missoula
Mike Albans / Montana Public Radio

HELENA—After a turbulent journey through the Montana Legislature, the bill named after Hannah Harris, who was found murdered on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in 2013, passed the Senate 37-13 Tuesday.

Rep. Sharon Stewart Peregoy (D) Crow Agency
Montana Legislature

The fate of two bills that could change the way Montana investigates and studies missing persons, especially in cases involving indigenous people, have been chained together in the political shuffle of the legislative session.

Senate lawmakers Tuesday restored previously cut funding for the bill known as Hanna’s Act, named for a woman murdered in 2013 on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.

A sign from a Jan. 9, 2019 missing and murdered Indigenous women vigil in Missoula.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Proponents of a proposed Montana bill meant to address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women said Monday they now believe that it has been amended to become toothless.

As originally drafted, Hanna’s Act would have directed the state Department of Justice to hire a missing persons specialist to coordinate with local, state, federal and tribal law enforcement on cases. The idea being to improve response times by smoothing over jurisdictional issues.

A bill to establish a missing persons specialist in Montana is advancing to the Senate after a week in limbo.

It's been a busy week at the Montana Legislature. Medicaid expansion and a bill to help NorthWestern Energy acquire more coal are still alive; A bill to fund preschool education is killed; And a bill to help find missing and murdered Native American women is passed, then killed, then revived. Learn more now on Capitol Talk with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

A piece of legislation intended to aid the investigation of missing indigenous people stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday, but supporters aren’t giving up just yet.

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