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! URGENT ! - Contact Senators & Urge Support of HB 258

Posted Date: 
March 9, 2013
Shantil Siaperas, Legislative Coordinator, Montana Association of Counties

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Please contact your Senators IMMEDIATELY regarding MACo bill HB 258, Revise local government laws related to public notice.  It was heard on the Senate floor Saturday morning and died on a 21 – 25 vote.

What this bill does:  When counties are required to give notice by publication, they are statutorily obligated to publish notices in a newspaper two times per MCA 7-1-2121.  Sometimes, a newspaper fails to publish the second notice leaving counties in the difficult situation of re-advertising or postponing important, time-sensitive meetings.  HB 258 states the following: 

"7-1-2121.Publication and content of notice -- proof of publication. Unless otherwise specifically provided, whenever a local government unit other than a municipality is required to give notice by publication, the following applies:


(5) The notice must be published twice, with at least 6 days separating each publication.

(9) If the newspaper fails to publish a second notice, the local government unit must be considered to have met the requirements of this section as long as the local government unit submitted the required information prior to the submission deadline and the notice was posted in three public places in the county that were designated by resolution."

This is only be applicable if the newspaper failed to publish the notice a second time.  It does not allow a city or county the option to only publish once:

HB 258 takes care of the rare mistake of a newspaper not publishing the second notice, but does not change the statutory obligation under 7-1-2121 of the county to have the notice published twice.  It basically moves the liability from the county, who met their obligation, to the newspaper, who did not.

The Montana Newspaper Association supported this bill.  It also passed House Local Government on a 16-2 vote; it then passed second reading on the house floor on a 98-2 vote, and it came out of the Senate Local Government Committee unanimously.

Again, please contact your Senator IMMEDIATELY and urge their support of HB 258. I have attached a contact list for all of the Senate. The votes tally is listed below, or you can click the following link:$BLAC.VoteTabulation?P_VOTE_SEQ=S817&P_SESS=20131


21 25 4 0

N Arntzen, Elsie

N Essmann, Jeff

E Moore, Frederick (Eric)

N Thomas, Fred

Y Arthun, Ron

Y Facey, Tom

N Murphy, Terry

N Tropila, Mitch

Y Augare, Shannon

N Fielder, Jennifer

N Olson, Alan

Y Tutvedt, Bruce

N Barrett, Debby

Y Hamlett, Bradley

N Peterson, Jim

Y Van Dyk, Kendall

Y Barrett, Dick

N Jackson, Verdell

Y Phillips, Mike

N Vincent, Chas

Y Blewett, Anders

N Jent, Larry

E Priest, Jason

Y Vuckovich, Gene

N Boulanger, Scott

Y Jergeson, Greg

N Ripley, Rick

N Walker, Edward

N Brenden, John

N Jones, Llew

E Rosendale, Matthew

Y Wanzenried, David

N Brown, Taylor

Y Kaufmann, Christine

N Sales, Scott

N Webb, Roger

N Brown, Dee

Y Keane, Jim

Y Sesso, Jon

Y Windy Boy, Jonathan

Y Buttrey, Edward

E Larsen, Cliff

N Sonju, Jon

N Wittich, Art

Y Caferro, Mary

N Lewis, Dave

Y Stewart-Peregoy, Sharon


Y Driscoll, Robyn

Y Malek, Sue

N Taylor, Janna


Click Here to Contact Your Senator

Shantil Siaperas | | (406) 449-4360