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Happenings on the Hill


TSEP & RRGL Update

Posted Date: 
January 23, 2013

Read the Bills: HB 6HB 7  |  HB 8  |  HB 11

The House Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Long Range Planning voted today to fund all TSEP and RRGL grant applications.

URGENT: Medicaid Expansion - Short Survey

Posted Date: 
Janaury 22, 2013
Contact: 
Harold Blattie, Executive Director, Montana Association of Counties

ATTN:  Commissioners and Clerks & Recorders

MACo has received a request for information about amounts that counties are budgeting for charity care and public health.  Charity care would be any amount the county budgets, whether expended directly of through another agency or organization for things that may not be covered under regular public assistance.  These would be the short-term costs dealing generally with urgent situations such as a tank of gas, meals, or lodging.

MACo Pension Update: Week 2

Posted Date: 
January 18, 2013
Contact: 
Sheryl Wood, Associate Director, Montana Association of Counties

HB 122 – the MPERA IRS Qualification bill is scheduled for hearing on Monday, January 21 at 8:00 a.m. in (H) State Admin.  In Section 2 of this bill, there is a new sub-section (7): The board shall require the actuary to prepare for each employer participating in a retirement system the disclosures or the information required to be included in the disclosures as required by law and by the governmental accounting standards board or its generally recognized successor. Each employer shall pay the employer's share of the actuary's cost for preparing the information or disclosures as determined by the board. The board may adopt rules governing how employer costs must be determined and paid."

MT Votes Funding Budget Hearing

Posted Date: 
January 18, 2013
Contact: 
Harold Blattie, Executive Director, Montana Association of Counties

ATTN: Commissioners and Clerks

Recently you received a letter from the Secretary of State about funding for Montana Votes, the state-wide voter registration database.  I will forward that letter for reference as a separate e-mail, following this one.

SB 41, Prohibiting consideration of future subdivision impact– 76-3-608

Posted Date: 
January 16, 2013
Contact: 
Tara DePuy, MACo JPIA Land Use Attorney

Read the Bill:  HTML  |  PDF  |  Additional Information

This is also a Montana Association of Realtor’s bill and was a portion of HB 542 that passed the 2011 legislature and was vetoed by the Governor.  MACo opposed the bill in 2011.  The bill inserts a new section into the law that states a governing body may not consider the impact of a subdivision under review in conjunction with the impact of a future subdivision(s) for which an applicant has not yet been filed. 

SB 24, Revise Zoning Laws for Sand and Gravel Operations – 76-2-209

Posted Date: 
January 14, 2013
Contact: 
Tara DePuy, MACo JPIA Land Use Attorney

Read the Bill:  HTML  |  PDF  |  Additional Information

NOTE: SB 24 is identical to HB 402 from the 2011 session that died in Senate on 2nd reading: prevents prohibition sand or gravel operation in a residential Part 2 zoning district after application filed for open cut sand or gravel operation. 

This bill was sponsored by Senator Matt Rosendale.  The sponsor of the bill stated that the purpose of the bill is to force zoning to be proactive instead of reactive in this case where zoning is put into place to zone an area agriculture after an application has been submitted to DEQ for a gravel permit.  Senator Rosendale offered an amendment to the bill to change the word “filed” to “submitted” as he had been informed by DEQ that gravel permit applications are not filed.

MACo Pension Bill Review: Week 1

Posted Date: 
January 11, 2013
Contact: 
Sheryl Wood, Associate Director, Montana Association of Counties

This piece is an overview of some of the Retirement System bills that have been introduced.  Per the MACo By-laws, the MACo Executive Committee provides legislative guidance; however, please feel free to send in your comments and thoughts on these bills that we can share with the Executive Committee and/or the legislative committee during the hearings.  We will continue to provide weekly updates, and we will have fiscal information posted on the MACo website next week as to the projected fiscal impact by county of some of the major bills.

2013 Bills that have Become Law

The bills listed here are MACo-requested legislation, or they are either on our Watch or Priority Watch list (bills likely to affect counties) that have become law.  Higher priority bills are in bold font.

Lobbying Reporting Requirements for Counties

Posted Date: 
December 14, 2012
Contact: 
Harold Blattie, Executive Director, Montana Association of Counties

With the 2013 Legislative Session fast approaching, counties are reminded that while elected officials are exempt from the normal reporting requirements of lobbyists, they still may need to register with the Commissioner of Political Practices as a “Principal” if the county pays for lobbying activities conducted on the county’s behalf by hired or contract lobbyists or county employees.

LAWS Demonstrations: 2013 Legislative Session

Posted Date: 
November 21, 2012

Over the next three months, the Legislative Services Division will offer several demonstrations of the Legislative Automated Workflow System, or LAWS. This online system allows the public and state agencies to track legislation during the 2013 legislative session.