MTPR

Jennifer Fielder

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

Apr 16, 2019
Montana State 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.

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.

Tonight on Capitol Talk: State lawmakers are buckling-down on a number of issues, including increased oversight of non-profit schools for troubled teens; what infrastructure projects to support or reject; what to cut or support in the health department; and whether ratepayers should bear the burden of keeping Colstrip's coal plant going.

Learn more now on Capitol Talk.

Funding For Missing Persons Bill Remains In Limbo

Mar 12, 2019
A sign from a Jan. 9, 2019 missing and murdered Indigenous women vigil in Missoula.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Montana lawmakers are no closer to agreeing on who should fund a missing persons bill after a hearing Tuesday in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

House Bill-21, or “Hanna’s Act” is named for a Northern Cheyenne woman who was murdered in 2013. The bill would create a position in the Montana Department of Justice to investigate every missing persons case across the state, in an attempt to bridge gaps in communication and jurisdiction between state, tribal and federal agencies.

A fisherman in the Bitterroot River near Painted Rocks State Park.
Josh Burnham

An optional fee increase on vehicle registrations that would help reduce a multi-million dollar maintenance backlog at state parks passed an initial vote in the Montana Senate today.

The fees Montanans pay when registering vehicles would increase from $6 to $9 under Senate Bill 24, although people could decline to pay the fee.

The Flathead National Forest is now taking comments on how it should manage the three forks of the Flathead River.
U.S. Forest Service


Hundreds of Montanans are expected to gather under the State Capitol rotunda in Helena on Friday to rally in support of public lands.

“Public lands, really for a lot of people, I think, define what it means to be a Montanan," says Kayje Booker of the Montana Wilderness Association. "And our outdoor way of life is the reason a lot of us live here in Montana.”

Cliven Bundy drew a large crowd in Paradise, MT January 20, 2018 in one of his first speeches since a conspiracy case against him was declared a mistrial.
Nicky Ouellet

Flannels, long beards and pocket Constitutions accented the crowd at an event billed as: “Freedom and Property: Cliven Bundy’s Story” in the town of Paradise Saturday night. Men posted around the Old Paradise School Gymnasium eyed the crowd and murmured security updates into earbuds, even through the opening prayer and pledge.

Cliven Bundy speaking at a forum hosted by the American Academy for Constitutional Education (AAFCE) at the Burke Basic School in Mesa, Arizona, July 22, 2014.
Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA-2)

Nevada rancher and anti-federal government activist Cliven Bundy is slated to speak in the town of Paradise Saturday, January 20, 2018. He and Montana elected officials were invited to speak by a local group.

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