Capitol Tracker

Exploring the data on Montana's 2021 legislative session

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House »
GOP-held 67-33
Senate »
GOP-held 31-19
Gov. »
Greg Gianforte (R)
Last updated 12:25 PM May 18, 2021

The session as of May 17

700
House bills introduced
Passed by House
408
Passed by Senate
352
Passed through Governor
335
406
Senate bills introduced
Passed by Senate
284
Passed by House
241
Passed through Governor
230
207
Resolutions and referendum proposals introduced
Passed
134
1,313 total bills and resolutions introduced
How bills move through the Legislature

Key bills

Major legislation identified by MTFP reporters. Where ambiguous, official bill titles are annotated with plain language summaries.

Major budget bills

HB 2: General Appropriations Act
Primary state budget bill
From Llew Jones (R)Bill text9 MTFP stories
Governor
Before governor
HB 630: Appropriate CARES II funds, supplemental, and temporarily revise ed funding
Allocates funding provided by Dec. 2020 COVID-19 stimulus bill
Passed
Became Law
HB 632: Implement receipt of and appropriate federal stimulus and COVID recovery funds
Allocates funding provided by March 2021 American Rescue Plan Act
Passed
Became Law

GOP tax bills

SB 159: Personal Income Tax Relief Act
Reduces rate in the state’s top income tax bracket
Passed
Became Law
SB 184: Montana Entrepreneur Magnet Act
Exempts shareholders of Montana-grown businesses from paying capital gains taxes on stock options
Passed
Became Law
HB 252: Non-refundable tax credit for employer-paid education of trade professions
Tax credits to encourage employer-funded trade education
Passed
Became Law
HB 303: Revise business equipment tax laws: Business Investment Grows (BIG) Jobs Act
Exempts more businesses from paying equipment tax
Passed
Became Law
HB 340: Revise the MEDIA Act film tax credits
Expand tax credits encouraging Montana film productions
Passed
Became Law
HB 372: Eliminate business equipment tax
Failed
Probably Dead
SB 376: Corporate tax modernization through double-sales factor apportionment
Adjusts how income tax is calculated for multi-state corporations
Passed
Became Law
SB 399: Generally revise and simplify income taxes
Major rewrite of Montana income tax code
Passed
Became Law
HB 663: Generally revising school funding to increase GTB and lower property taxes
Passed
Became Law

Democratic tax alternatives

SB 10: Providing for circuit breaker income tax credit for property taxes paid
Creates a property tax “circuit breaker” credit to lighten tax burden on lower-income residents
Failed
Probably Dead
HB 424: Revise individual income tax laws
Creates new top income tax bracket, expands Earned Income Tax Credit for working families
Failed
Probably Dead
HB 631: Increase state earned income tax credit
Expands Earned Income Tax Credit for working families
Failed
Probably Dead

COVID-19 liability

SB 65: Revise civil liability laws
Protects businesses from some COVID-19-related lawsuits
Passed
Became Law
HB 435: Generally revise civil liability laws for government
Protects public entities from some COVID-19-related lawsuits
Passed
Became Law

Emergency power

SB 108: Authorize elected official approval of city/county health board rules
Allows citizens to petition for repeal of local health board actions
Failed
Probably Dead
HB 121: Require elected official approval of local health board and officer actions
Passed
Became Law
HB 159: Revise governor's power to spend certain unanticipated federal funds
Requires legislative involvement in spending large federal relief allocations
Passed
Became Law
HB 230: Generally revise emergency and disaster laws
Lets Legislature weigh in on governor’s emergency declarations
Passed
Became Law
HB 429: Revise governor's power to suspend election laws during emergency
Passed
Became Law

Election administration

SB 169: Generally revise voter ID laws
Requires photo ID for voter registration
Passed
Became Law
HB 176: Close late voter registration on Friday before the election
Ends Election Day-voter registration
Passed
Became Law
SB 319: Generally revise campaign finance laws
Restricts signature gathering, voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts on college campuses
Passed
Became Law
HB 613: Generally revise laws related to tribal voting
Seeks to protect voting rights on reservations
Failed
Probably Dead

Labor policy

SB 89: Revise laws related to collection of union dues
Bars public employers from collecting dues for unions via paycheck withholding
Failed
Probably Dead
HB 168: Generally revise laws related to union fees
Requires annual worker consent for union membership
Failed
Probably Dead
HB 251: Implement right-to-work
Requires written consent for union due paycheck deductions
Failed
Probably Dead

Justice policy

SB 140: Revise laws relating to the judiciary
Lets the governor appoint judges to vacancies directly
Passed
Became Law
SB 215: Establish the religious freedom restoration act
Passed
Became Law
SB 278: Generally revise civil liability law
In part, requires nonprofits challenging government actions to disclose their donor lists
Failed
Probably Dead
HB 325: Elect supreme court justices by districts
Voter referendum to shift away from statewide supreme court elections
Passed
Became Law
HB 355: Require partisan elections for state, district, local judges
Failed
Probably Dead
HB 685: Revise judicial standards laws
Constitutional referendum to give Judicial Standards Commission direct power to discipline judges and make a majority of members non-attorneys appointed by governor
Failed
Probably Dead

Education policy

HB 15: Implement K-12 Inflation
Major school funding measure
Passed
Became Law
HB 46: Revise special education funding
Adds special ed inflationary increases to routine state education budget
Passed
Became Law
HB 143: Provide incentives for increasing starting teacher pay
Passed
Became Law
HB 179: Generally revise laws related to community colleges
Makes it easier to set up community college districts
Passed
Became Law
HB 246: Revise education laws to enhance local control and opportunities for pupils
Makes K-12 education requirements more flexible
Passed
Became Law
HB 279: Revise laws related to tax credit scholarship and innovative education programs
Raises tax credit cap on private school scholarship donations to $200,000
Passed
Became Law

Natural resource policy

SB 98: Revising laws related to grizzly bear take in defense of persons and livestock
Passed
Became Law
HB 224: Allow for the snaring of wolves in Montana by licensed trappers
Passed
Became Law
SB 267: Authorize reimbursement for wolf trapping and hunting
Passed
Became Law
HB 302: Require county approval to relocate bison
Passed
Became Law
SB 314: Revise laws related to wolf harvest
Passed
Became Law
HB 320: Prohibit sales of federal land transferred to Montana
Failed
Probably Dead
SB 337: Revising laws related to grizzly bear relocation
Prevents FWP from relocating grizzly bears into new areas
Passed
Became Law
SB 358: Repeal numeric nutrient standards for water quality
Loosens nutrient water quality regulations by replacing numeric standards with narrative ones
Passed
Became Law
HB 468: Allowing hound hunting and chase seasons for black bears
Passed
Became Law

Energy policy

SJ 3: Provide for a feasibility study of advanced nuclear reactors
Passed
Became Law
SB 160: Establish Public Service Commission appointments
Shifts elected utility board to three-member commission appointed by governor
Failed
Probably Dead
HB 170: Revise laws to include renewable hydrogen
Passed
Became Law
SB 176: Generally revise laws related to coal, coal tax, and coal-fired unit remediation
Discourages utilities from exiting coal plant operations
Failed
Probably Dead
HB 273: Eliminate restrictions on nuclear facility development
Passed
Became Law
SB 379: Generally revise coal-fired generation laws
Guarantees NorthWestern Energy funding for coal plants by limiting PSC authority over power bills
Failed
Probably Dead

Firearm regulations

HB 102: Generally revise gun laws
Expands permitless concealed carry, limits gun regulations on college campuses
Passed
Became Law
HB 258: Revise laws related to firearms, ammunition, and accessories
Bars Montana officials from enforcing new federal firearm restrictions
Passed
Became Law

Transgender restrictions

Recreational marijuana implementation

HB 640: Generally revise marijuana laws
Became last-minute effort to shift rec. marijuana implementation
Failed
Probably Dead
HB 701: Generally revise marijuana laws
Main rec. marijuana implementation bill
Through Legislature
Passed both chambers
Montana Free Press
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More information about this guide is available here. Reach data reporter Eric Dietrich with questions, comments or bug reports for this project at edietrich@montanafreepress.org.

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