MTPR

Sharon Stewart-Peregoy

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.

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.

Montana’s Native American children face greater barriers to opportunity than their peers in other states according to the 2017 Race for Results study released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Voting booths at the Missoula Library.
Josh Burnham

What’s known as the mail-in ballot bill, to give counties the option of running the upcoming special election without physical polling places, is now dead after a vote today in the state House of Representatives.

Supporters of Senate Bill 305 tried to blast the legislation onto the House floor after it failed to move out of committee earlier this week.

Carole Mackin, a taxpayer from Helena, is escorted out of a hearing room at the Montana Capitol by a sergeant-at-arms Thursday, March 23 after she refused to stop her testimony in support of Senate Bill 305, which would allow mail ballot elections.
Freddy Monares - UM Legislative News Service

A bill intended to save counties hundreds of thousands of dollars in the upcoming special election for Montana's vacant U.S. House seat brought heated testimony and debate Thursday in the Capitol.

Senate Bill 305 would allow counties the option of running the May 25 election entirely through mail-in-ballots. Great Falls Republican Senator Steve Fitzpatrick introduced his bill to the House Judiciary Committee:

Solar panel installation.
Wayne National Forest (CC-BY-2)

After supporters of the so-called Solar Jobs and Energy Freedom Act rallied in the state Capitol yesterday in support of more solar energy development, legislation to do so stalled in committee today on a tie vote.

House Bill 504 failed to get enough votes to move out of the House Energy Technology and Federal Relations committee.

Bison being released at Fort Peck Reservation, November 2014.
Courtesy of the Defenders of Wildlife

Tribal members and wildlife groups were among those asking lawmakers today to consider a bill to change how bison can be moved and sold. The bill proposed by Rep. Willis Curdy, a Missoula Democrat, would remove an existing requirement for wild bison be cleared as free from brucellosis before being transferred.

Capitol Connections: Montana American Indian Caucus

Feb 15, 2017

There are 9 American Indian legislators in the 65th Montana Legislature, according to self-reporting to the Legislative Services Division. That’s about 6% of the 150 members. These 9 lawmakers have joined forces with at least 7 other legislative colleagues with American Indian constituents to form the Montana American Indian Caucus.


People gathered on the north steps of the capitol in Helena Nov. 14 to let Governor Steve Bullock and Attorney General Tim Fox know they don't like Montana police being sent to help with security around the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in North Dakota.
Eric Whitney

About 80 people gathered on the north steps of the Capitol today to let Governor Steve Bullock and Attorney General Tim Fox know they don't like Montana police being sent to help with security around the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in North Dakota.