MWCC's first Legislative Bulletin!
MWCC is excited to provide its first newsletter committed fully to connecting watershed groups around the state with the happenings of the 65th legislature. It is not our intent to take positions on bills and we do not have a lobbyist advocating or testifying on the behalf of the bills listed in this bulletin. However, policy makers can tire of the faces of lobbyists and oftentimes are more interested in hearing not only from their constituents, but also those directly impacted by the happenings of the legislature and the decisions they're making. If you want more information, feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have comments or suggestions on how this publication could be more helpful to you and your work, please let us know.
Bills coming up this week:
HB 6, "Renewable Resource Grant"
Sponsor: Jim Kean
Hearing date: 1/12
Committee: Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Long Range Planning
This bill appropriates money to the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation for grants under the renewable resource grant and loan program. This includes money for emergency projects, planning grants, irrigation development grants, and watershed grants, including the Watershed Management Grant. To read the full bill click here
Committee members (click for contact info):
Rep. Mike Cuffe
Rep. Mike Hopkins
Rep. Rae Peppers
Sen. Jon Sesso
Sen. Cary Smith
Sen. Jeffrey Welborn
SB 73, "Revise laws related to livestock loss"
Sponsor: Pat Connell
Hearing date: 1/12
Committee: Senate Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation
This bill will remove the sunset from the livestock loss program. In addition, it will also provide funding for the livestock loss prevention programs. This includes funding activities like livestock carcass removal, fencing of attractants, and range riders, all of which help prevent conflict with grizzly bears and wolves. To read the full bill click here
Sen. Mary Caferro
Sen. Brian Hoven
Sen. Mike Lang
Sen. Margie Macdonald
Sen. Eric Moore
Sen. Albert Olszewski
Sen. Ryan Osmundson
Sen. Daniel Salomon
Sen. Diane Sands
Sen. Frank Smith
Sen. Nels Swandal
HB 107, "Establish Surface Water Assessment and Monitoring Plan"
Sponsor: Carl Glimm
Hearing date: 1/13
Committee: House Natural Resources
This bill will create and fund a surface water assessment and monitoring program, developed by the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, but will report to a steering committee. The committee will include agencies, industry reps, a conservation district, a unit of the university system, a county government, federal agencies, and other members will be appointed by the governor. The steering committee will prioritize sub-basins based on current and anticipated growth in agriculture, industry, housing, and commercial activity. Read the full bill here
Rep. Kim Abbott
Rep. Bob Brown
Rep. Zach Brown
Rep. Virginia Court
Rep. Willis Curdy
Rep. Ross Fitzgerald
Rep. John Fleming
Rep. Kelly Flynn
Rep. Wylie Galt
Rep. Steve Gunderson
Rep. Theresa Manzella
Rep. Dale Mortenson
Rep. Mark Noland
Rep. Kerry White
Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy
Bills on the horizon
HB 14, "Bonding Program"
Sponser: Jim Kean
Provides funding for grants and reclamation projects, and other natural resource projects
SB 47, "Revise definitions of salvage water, water conservation"
Sponsor: Chas Vincent
SB 93, "Provide notification at certain dwellings for oil and gas operations"
Sponsor: Tom Richmond
Requires notice to be given to property owners of potential drilling and to allow for the evaluation of drilling and completion operations
Bills that may emerge (or not)
- LC 1470, "Recognizing source watersheds"
- LC 0141, "Generally revise invasive species laws"
- LC 0142, "Generally revise invasive species laws"
- LC 0217, "Revise invasive species enforcement and penalty laws"
- LC 0870, "Revise laws related to conifer and sagebrush encroachment"
- LC 1160, "Generally revise floodplain laws"
- LC 1749, "Revise laws related to water protection"
The Legislature in the News