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Montana Districting & Apportionment Commission Meeting

Venue/Location
Room 152
State Capitol
Helena, MT
Start Date
February 17, 2012
End Date
February 17, 2012
February 17, 2012
6 years 35 weeks ago

The Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission will meet Friday, February 17 to begin consideration of draft plans for redrawing the boundaries of the state’s legislative districts.

The meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. in Room 102 of the State Capitol in Helena.
The five citizen members, appointed by leaders of the Legislature and the Supreme Court, will view plans drawn by commission staff at the direction of the commissioners and also any created by individual commissioners or other citizens or organizations. All plans must contain 100 house districts and follow the criteria previously set out by the commission to guide its work. Anyone wishing to present a complete plan to the commission for it to consider at the meeting must contact commission staff before February 10.

Initial draft plans for possible ways to redraw Montana's legislative districts are now posted online at the website of the Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission. The website is www.leg.mt.gov/districting. The commission is required to redraw legislative district lines after each decennial Census.

The plans were drafted by commission staff at the request of the five citizen commissioners. Each plan reflects one of four themes outlined by the commissioners at their July 2011 meeting. The commission will hear more about the plans at its upcoming February 17 meeting in Helena.

Also posted online are the agenda for the meeting and additional materials, including:

  • a one-page document on how to provide public comment on maps to the commissioners; and
  • the draft public hearing schedule for 2012. Please note all dates, times, and locations are tentative and subject to the approval of the commission at the February meeting.
    • To be held in towns across Montana in the spring. The legislative plan is scheduled for adoption in 2013 and will take effect for the 2014 election cycle.

The February 17 meeting is open to the public and will also be streamed live on the internet at www.leg.mt.gov and broadcast on the Legislature’s public access television network, TVMT. To view a list of TVMT channels, visit www.leg.mt.gov/tvmt.

Public comment on redistricting is always welcome. All comments are copied and distributed to all five commissioners and become part of the permanent public record. To contact the commission, use the information below.

By Mail:
Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission
PO Box 201706
Helena, MT 59620-1706

By E-mail:
districting@mt.gov

By Fax:
406-444-3036

More information on the commission and its work is available at www.leg.mt.gov/districting.

Staff Contacts:
Rachel Weiss, 406-444-5367
Joe Kolman, 406-444-3747

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SAVA Conference Call - CANCELED

Venue/Location
Room 172
State Capitol
Start Date
February 02, 2012
End Date
February 02, 2012
February 2, 2012
6 years 37 weeks ago

The State Administration and Veterans' Affairs Interim Committee will meet in a conference call on Thursday, February 2 at 8:30 am. The call will originate in Room 172 of the Capitol building.

The conference call is to discuss a request by Senate President Jim Peterson at the Friday, January 27 SAVA meeting. Peterson requested the committee ask the Department of Administration not to delete any files from the computer of the former Commissioner of Political Practices.

Contact committee staff Megan Moore at (406) 444-4496 or memoore@mt.gov with any questions.

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Select Committee on Efficiency in Government Meeting

Venue/Location
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT
Start Date
February 06, 2012
End Date
February 07, 2012
February 6-7, 2012
6 years 37 weeks ago

The Select Committee on Efficiency in Government is scheduled to meet February 6-7, 2012 at Montana State University in Bozeman.

The Select Committee on Efficiency in Government is joint bipartisan committee of the Legislature that will meet during the 2011-12 legislative interim. It was created by House Bill No. 642 (2011) and is commissioned to examine the efficiency and effectiveness of state government in four broad areas: budgeting; health care; technology; and natural resources.

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Medicaid Subcommittee of the Select Committee on Efficiency in Government Meeting

Venue/Location
State Capitol
Room 172
Start Date
February 01, 2012
End Date
February 01, 2012
February 1, 2012
6 years 38 weeks ago

The Medicaid Subcommittee of the Select Committee on Efficiency in Government will meet on Feb. 1 to consider and act on recommendations related to health care and Medicaid. The agenda is available on the Committee's web page.

The subcommittee reviewed information on several topics at a Jan. 9 meeting and decided to hold a conference call meeting to take action on the items. The subcommittee's final recommendations will be presented to the full committee on Feb. 7.

The Feb. 1 subcommittee meeting will begin at 10 a.m. and will be broadcast online. Some subcommittee members also will attend the meeting in Room 172 of the State Capitol.

The agenda includes time for public comment, for members of the public who are at the meeting in Helena. Written public comment may be submitted by Jan. 30.  Written comments may be sent by e-mail or by regular mail to Sue O'Connell, Legislative Services Division, P.O. Box 201706, Helena, MT 59620-1706.

The subcommittee will review and act on the same topics for which it took public comment on Jan. 9:

  • the Medicaid application and application process;
  • the Children's System of Care Account;
  • the use of long-term care insurance partnership policies;
  • the effects of a Washington state law involving asset transfers that affect Medicaid eligilibty;
  • proposed changes to state Medicaid laws and administrative rules; and
  • proposed changes to other health care laws and rules.

Additional information on these topics is available on the committee's Health Care/Medicaid web page.

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Education & Local Government Interim Committee Meeting

Venue/Location
State Capitol
Room 102
Start Date
January 23, 2012
End Date
January 24, 2012
January 23-24, 2012
6 years 39 weeks ago

The Education and Local Government Interim Committee will meet Monday and Tuesday, January 23 and 24, 2012, in Room 102 of the Capitol building.  The agenda is available on the committee's website.

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Children, Families, Health, & Human Services Interim Committee Meeting

Venue/Location
State Capitol
Room 137
Start Date
January 23, 2012
End Date
January 23, 2012
January 23, 2012
6 years 39 weeks ago

Materials for the Jan. 23 meeting of the Children, Families, Health, and Human Services Interim Committee are now available online. The materials include:

  • the preliminary agenda;
  • several briefing papers on topics related to the House Joint Resolution 8 study of childhood hunger;
  • background materials related to a discussion of error rates in Medicaid billing; and
  • an update on developments related to Senate Bill 423, the bill that replaced the Medical Marijuana Act with new provisions related to patients, physicians, and people who provide marijuana for use by people with debilitating medical conditions.

The committee will consider possible action related to its House Joint Resolution 8 study of childhood hunger. In November, it narrowed the study focus to several topics. This month, it will hear more information about those topics and options for action.

As part of its Medicaid monitoring effort, the committee will hear from panels of speakers on two topics: error detection in the Medicaid payment system and the effect that changes in provider rates have had on services.

The committee will take public comment on the HJR 8 study and the Medicaid topics during the meeting. People who are unable to attend the meeting may submit written comment by e-mail or by sending it via regular mail to:

Sue O'Connell
Legislative Services Division
P.O. Box 201706
Helena, MT 59620-1706

The HJR 8 briefing papers provide more information on several topics identified by committee members in November. The papers also contain options for potential committee action on each topic. Members are scheduled to wrap up most of their work on the HJR 8 study at this meeting.

The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. in Room 137 of the Capitol, in Helena.

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SAVA Interim Committee Meeting

Venue/Location
State Capitol
Room 137
Start Date
January 27, 2012
End Date
January 27, 2012
January 27, 2012
6 years 38 weeks ago

The draft agenda for the January 27 meeting of the State Administration and Veterans' Affairs Interim Committee is now available online. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. in Room 137 of the Capitol Building, in Helena.

Materials for the meeting are also now available. The committee will receive an agency update from the Department of Administration, begin work on the studies of anonymous election material and combining elections, continue the HB 142 review of advisory councils and required reports, and hear information about three recent audits on the office supply acquisition process and the Department of Military Affairs.

The agenda also includes a new item on the vacancy in the Commissioner of Political Practices office.  The Executive Director of the Legislative Services Division, Susan Fox, will provide an overview of the process for filling the vacancy and Mary Baker, Program Supervisor for the Office of the Commissioner of Political Practices, will discuss office operations during the vacancy.

The committee will adopt principles and guidelines for public retirement systems. Other retirement system-related agenda items include an update from the Teachers' Retirement System, a discussion of the constitutionality of amending current retirement benefits, and an overview of the Legislative Finance Committee's study of public pensions.

Contact committee staff Megan Moore at memoore@mt.gov or (406) 444-4496 with questions.

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Farm Bill Meeting

Venue/Location
Department of Livestock Conference Room
Scott Hart Building
301 N Roberts Street
Helena, MT
Start Date
January 12, 2012
End Date
January 12, 2012
January 12, 2012
6 years 40 weeks ago

The Livestock Loss Board is hosting a meeting on January 12th from 9:00 to 12:00 in the Department of Livestock Conference Room. For those of you  who have not been to the Department of Livestock it is located in the  Scott Hart Building at 301 N Roberts Street in Helena. There is a parking lot across the street.

The purpose of this meeting is to develop proposed legislation for the Federal Farm Bill to ask for $25 million in funds for predator loss prevention and acknowledges that some lethal control is also necessary.  Elaine Allestad and myself attended Woolgrowers, Cattlemens and Stockgrowers annual meetings to solicit support for the Farm Bill Ask proposal.

This proposal is a concept originally brought to the board by the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC). We met with them and the Blackfoot Challenge in late November and discussed their proposal. The livestock groups agreed to participate in the meetings to develop the proposal with the Livestock Loss Board becoming the repository of the Federal funds. Below are the notes from the November meeting with NRDC and Blackfoot Challenge:

Montana agriculture is a vital part of the state economy, cultural tradition, and land base.  Population increases in grizzly bears, wolves, and other predators have had disproportional and negative impacts on this sector of the economy.  Montana cattle producers and sheep growers are well aware of the direct and indirect economic impacts of carnivores.

With chronic budget shortages at the state and federal agency level, carnivores will continue to pose problems for agricultural now and into the foreseeable future.  Addressing these problems will require resources so that all of tools in the toolbox can be used to reduce the economic impacts that carnivores have on producers.  Some tools that have been effective include: targeted lethal control, compensation for verified and probable losses, electric fencing, livestock carcass removal, livestock guard dogs, sanitation improvements, and livestock herd and wolf pack monitoring through radio tracking.  While proactive tools will not eliminate all conflicts with carnivores, preventative measures can measurably reduce problems.

The goal of this effort is to secure 25 million from the upcoming 2012 Farm Bill that would help Montana livestock producers reduce the risk of livestock losses to grizzly bears, wolves, and other carnivores.  These dollars would be used to fund on-the-ground pilot projects for five years at approximately five million per year.

The following objectives reflect initial thinking about how to obtain funds and structure this concept:

  • Livestock producers should drive the process of developing the structure for making this ask
  • A meeting within the next two months open to all of those interested would be a way to start developing this structure
  • The ask during the 2012 Farm Bill negotiations will only be successful if livestock producers want to make it
  • It must work for the individual producer, their operation, under their individual management
  • Counties and watersheds with severe problems with carnivores need to be addressed
  • Information/discussion at local level is needed about where wolves/bears can and cannot fit into landscape
  • Must be grassroots and locally driven
  • Could support collaborative and partnership-based efforts to scale-up response to wolves/bears
  • Must be flexible
  • Emphasis of funds would be on prevention projects but recognizes that lethal control is needed as well
  • Could be structured as a national level grants program with equal access for individual producers, watershed groups, NGOs, state and federal agencies, tribes, etc.  E.g., these funds could help the Montana Livestock Board adequately fund compensation payments for losses
  • Benefits would be to Montana; if Wyoming and Idaho are interested, additional funds would be necessary

We may need one additional meeting towards the end of the month or early February.

George Edwards
Department of Livestock, LLC
Helena, MT
gedwards@mt.gov
http://llb.mt.gov
406-444-5609

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Economic Affairs Interim Committee Meeting

Venue/Location
Room 137
State Capitol
Start Date
January 19, 2012
End Date
January 20, 2012
January 19-20, 2012
6 years 39 weeks ago

The Economic Affairs Committee meets Jan. 19-20 in Room 137 of the State Capitol. For an agenda and meeting materials please visit the committee website or click on the links provided here.

On the agenda are reviews of workplace safety, funding options to help rural volunteer firefighters obtain workers' compensation insurance, updates on workers' compensation reforms, and reviews of licensing boards under the HB 525 study of whether to retain licensing boards. Four boards are up for review at the meeting: the Board of Public Accountants, the Board of Outfitters, the Board of Nursing, and the Board of Optometry. Some contention regarding the Board of Dentistry and the Board of Funeral Service has landed those two boards back on the committee's agenda on Jan. 20.

Other scheduled reviews include those for three different agriculture advisory councils: The Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage Advisory Council, the Noxious Weed Managment Advisory Council, and the Organic Commodity Advisory Council.

For questions or more information about the meeting, contact Pat Murdo at pmurdo@mt.gov or call 406-444-3594.

 

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State-Tribal Relations Interim Committee Meeting

Venue/Location
State Capitol
Start Date
January 13, 2012
End Date
January 13, 2012
January 13, 2012
6 years 40 weeks ago

The State Tribal Relations Committee will meet on January 13 at the State Capitol.

The State-Tribal Relations Committee acts as a liaison with tribal governments in Montana, encourages state-tribal and local government-tribal cooperation, conducts interim studies as assigned, and may propose legislation and report its activities, findings, or recommendations to the legislature.

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