Capitol Tracker

Exploring the data on Montana's 2021 legislative session

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GOP-held 31-19
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Greg Gianforte (R)
Last updated 8:32 PM Mar 1, 2021

The Montana Senate

31 Republicans, 19 Democrats

The Montana Senate is the Legislature’s smaller chamber, with 50 senators elected to four-year terms. Each Senate district spans two House districts.

Senators propose laws by introducing Senate bills, which face initial review in committees that decide which measures deserve debate on the Senate floor. Floor action occurs in two phases, usually on different days: a “second reading” where lawmakers debate a bill, consider amendments and vote on whether to advance the bill, and then a final “third reading” vote.

Senate bills that have passed the Senate are transmitted to the House, which conducts a similar review process. If a Senate bill is amended by the House, it is returned to the Senate for senators to vote again on the amended version. Once a bill passes both chambers, it is forwarded to the governor.

Bills fail either when lawmakers don’t advance them fast enough to meet procedural deadlines, or when they’re subjected to an adverse vote. In some cases, sponsors may also withdraw their bills from consideration.

Leadership

Senate President
Senate Majority Leader
Montana Free Press
Local journalists covering Montana for you.

Membership

Republicans

DistrictLawmakerVotes in majority
w/ most Rs
w/ most Ds
SD 1
R-Eureka
93%
95% w/ Rs
63% w/ Ds
SD 2
R-Columbia Falls
86%
91% w/ Rs
56% w/ Ds
SD 3
R-Whitefish
90%
96% w/ Rs
61% w/ Ds
SD 4
R-Kalispell
93%
98% w/ Rs
63% w/ Ds
SD 5
R-Bigfork
87%
90% w/ Rs
57% w/ Ds
SD 6
R-Polson
94%
97% w/ Rs
65% w/ Ds
SD 7
R-Thompson Falls
90%
94% w/ Rs
61% w/ Ds
SD 9
R-Ethridge
96%
97% w/ Rs
67% w/ Ds
SD 10
R-Great Falls
95%
97% w/ Rs
66% w/ Ds
SD 13
R-Great Falls
94%
94% w/ Rs
67% w/ Ds
SD 14
R-Chester
94%
91% w/ Rs
69% w/ Ds
SD 15
R-Buffalo
94%
97% w/ Rs
65% w/ Ds
SD 17
R-Malta
93%
96% w/ Rs
64% w/ Ds
SD 18
R-Wibaux
87%
92% w/ Rs
58% w/ Ds
SD 19
R-Miles City
95%
95% w/ Rs
68% w/ Ds
SD 20
R-Colstrip
95%
92% w/ Rs
69% w/ Ds
SD 21
R-Busby
97%
93% w/ Rs
71% w/ Ds
SD 22
R-Billings
92%
96% w/ Rs
63% w/ Ds
SD 23
R-Billings
89%
93% w/ Rs
60% w/ Ds
SD 26
R-Billings
93%
97% w/ Rs
63% w/ Ds
SD 27
R-Billings
88%
92% w/ Rs
58% w/ Ds
SD 28
R-Laurel
89%
90% w/ Rs
67% w/ Ds
SD 29
R-Park City
89%
92% w/ Rs
59% w/ Ds
SD 30
R-Big Timber
88%
90% w/ Rs
62% w/ Ds
SD 34
R-Belgrade
86%
90% w/ Rs
57% w/ Ds
SD 35
R-Manhattan
97%
95% w/ Rs
70% w/ Ds
SD 36
R-Dillon
92%
90% w/ Rs
69% w/ Ds
SD 40
R-Helena
96%
96% w/ Rs
68% w/ Ds
SD 43
R-Hamilton
92%
97% w/ Rs
61% w/ Ds
SD 44
R-Stevensville
88%
92% w/ Rs
62% w/ Ds
SD 47
R-Ronan
96%
93% w/ Rs
68% w/ Ds

Democrats

DistrictLawmakerVotes in majority
w/ most Rs
w/ most Ds
SD 8
D-Browning
68%
63% w/ Rs
97% w/ Ds
SD 11
D-Great Falls
77%
72% w/ Rs
91% w/ Ds
SD 12
D-Great Falls
70%
65% w/ Rs
98% w/ Ds
SD 16
D-Hays
72%
66% w/ Rs
97% w/ Ds
SD 24
D-Billings
73%
68% w/ Rs
96% w/ Ds
SD 25
D-Billings
67%
62% w/ Rs
95% w/ Ds
SD 31
D-Bozeman
68%
62% w/ Rs
97% w/ Ds
SD 32
D-Bozeman
72%
67% w/ Rs
96% w/ Ds
SD 33
D-Bozeman
65%
60% w/ Rs
95% w/ Ds
SD 37
D-Butte
74%
70% w/ Rs
91% w/ Ds
SD 38
D-Butte
69%
64% w/ Rs
96% w/ Ds
SD 39
D-Philipsburg
75%
70% w/ Rs
93% w/ Ds
SD 41
D-Helena
69%
64% w/ Rs
96% w/ Ds
SD 42
D-East Helena
69%
64% w/ Rs
99% w/ Ds
SD 45
D-Missoula
74%
69% w/ Rs
94% w/ Ds
SD 46
D-Missoula
69%
64% w/ Rs
97% w/ Ds
SD 48
D-Missoula
70%
65% w/ Rs
95% w/ Ds
SD 49
D-Missoula
68%
63% w/ Rs
97% w/ Ds
SD 50
D-Missoula
70%
65% w/ Rs
95% w/ Ds
Voting metrics based on 551 votes recorded on the Senate floor through 3/1/21.

Senate bills before the Senate (in their first chamber)

In initial committees

Committees serve as a first line of review, deciding which bills to advance for floor debate.
SB 2: Clarify the dissemination of fish and wildlife related information
From Jill Cohenour (D)Bill textFiscal note
First chamber
Tabled in committee
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
First chamber
Tabled in committee
SB 11: Increase minimum corporate income tax
First chamber
Tabled in committee
SB 12: Convert tax haven list to tax haven criteria
First chamber
Tabled in committee
SB 32: Revise monitoring requirements for guardians of adults
First chamber
Tabled in committee
SB 37: Permit exemption for Berkeley Pit water
First chamber
Tabled in committee
SB 46: Increase MUS-RP supplemental contribution to TRS
First chamber
Tabled in committee
SB 48: Allowing transfer of certain highway funding to tribes
First chamber
Tabled in committee
SB 71: Remove penalties for law enforcement re: health officer assistance
First chamber
Tabled in committee
SB 73: Provide for local distribution of lodging sales tax revenue
First chamber
Tabled in committee
SB 77: Revise special district financing and dissolution provisions
First chamber
Tabled in committee
SB 78: Revise allowable special district assessment methods
First chamber
Tabled in committee
SB 85: Generally revise taxation of renewable energy
First chamber
Tabled in committee
SB 86: Generally revise obligations and conditions for property impacted by coal
First chamber
In committee
SB 88: Establish requirements for coal-fired power plant maintenance
First chamber
In committee
Showing 15 of 93.

Out of committee, awaiting floor debate

Bills can sometimes be rereferred to a second committee.

Through floor debate

Second reading votes, the first vote bills typically receive from the full House, occur following floor debate. Bills don't officially pass the Senate until a final, third reading vote.

Senate bills passed by the Senate

Transmitted to the House for consideration.

House bills before the Senate (in their second chamber)

Bills passed by the House and transmitted to the Senate for a second round of consideration.

Transmitted to Senate

In initial committees

Out of committee, awaiting floor debate

None at present

Through floor debate

Senate bills passed by both chambers

In reconcilation

Senate bills passed by the Senate and then passed by the House with amendments. If the Senate doesn't vote to accept the changes, lawmakers must negotiate a version of the bill that can pass both chambers.

In administrative review

Bills in their final enrolling process before transmittal to the governor.

Transmitted to Governor

Bills passed by both chambers and transmitted to the governor for his signature are available here.

Senate Bills becoming law

Bills that have passed all three key procedural hurdles: The Senate, House and governor.

Senate Bills killed in process

In rare situations, dead bills can resurrected with supermajority votes. Bills tabled in committee are often headed toward death but aren't classified as such until they miss a procedural deadline.

Senate resolutions and voter referendum proposals

Senate resolutions pass with approval from the Senate, while joint resolutions and voter referendum proposals need approval from the Senate and House. Resolutions and referendum proposals don't require approval from the governor.

Proposed

Passed

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.

Think there's a potential news story to be done about a bill or lawmaker you see here? Tell us at tips@montanafreepress.org.

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