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Happenings on the Hill


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

Posted Date: 
March 9, 2013
Contact: 
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. 

SB 284, Subdivision for Rent or Lease Property Fairness

Posted Date: 
February 20, 2013
Contact: 
Tara DePuy, MACo JPIA Land Use Attorney

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SB 284, Establish the property fairness act, exempts five or fewer lease or rentals of buildings/units but they are subject to sanitation review; that number can be increased but not decreased.  Six or more LRs are required to go through a review process and new regulations must be adopted by Sept 1, 2013.  Minimum review criteria can be expanded by super-majority vote.  LRs may be exempted from review if there is county zoning that contains the minimum review criteria.  This law would be codified in a new part in Title 76.

HB 499, Amending Conveyance Exemptions for Subdivision Regulations

Posted Date: 
February 21, 2013
Contact: 
Tara DePuy, MACo JPIA Land Use Attorney

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This bill is one of three subdivision for lease or rent bills before the legislature.  This bill changes Section 76-3-204, which was one of the two statutes interpreted 2013 AG Opinion on subdivisions for lease or rent.  The bill provides an exemption that permanently exempts from further review as a rental or lease a building that is in existence or under contraction on the effective date of the act that is rented or leased.  The building is subject to DEQ review. 

HB 531, Revising Laws Governing Exemptions for SLR and for Townhouses

Posted Date: 
February 21, 2013
Contact: 
Tara DePuy, MACo JPIA Land Use Attorney

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HB 531, Revise exemptions for certain divisions of land, is one of three subdivision for lease or rent bills before the legislature.  This bill deleted the reference to townhouses/homes in Section 76-3-203, Exemption for Certain Condominiums.  The bill also adds a new exemption to subdivision law that states that subdivisions created by rent or lease are exempt from county/city review if the governing body has adopted zoning regulations that “include standards for uses of property that create subdivision by rent or lease.”  The bill also adds a cross reference from Section 76-3-208, Subdivisions Exempted from Surveying and Filing requirements but Subject to Review Provisions, to the new exemption.

! URGENT ! - Pension Bill Support

Posted Date: 
February 20, 2013
Contact: 
Sheryl Wood, Associate Director, Montana Association of Counties

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House Bill 454, sponsored by Rep. Bill McChesney, will be heard Thursday, February 21 at 8:30 a.m. in the House Joint Select Committee on Pensions.  This bill was requested by the Office of Budget and Program Planning on behalf of Governor Bullock, and addresses the Public Employees Retirement System Defined Benefit Plan funding shortfall.  This is possibly the most important bill for Counties this session regarding funding the pension systems! The time has come to ask for your involvement and support.  This will be our ONLY opportunity in this Committee to comment.  If the Committee approves passage of this bill – it goes straight to the House floor.

Update: SB 105, Revise interim zoning laws - Transmitted to House

Posted Date: 
February 7, 2013

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Senate Bill 105, a MACo-requested bill based on MACo Resolution 2010-09, passed third reading today on the Senate floor 27-23.  It passed second reading yesterday by a 27-23 margin as well. 

! URGENT ! - 3rd Reading Today - SB 105, Revise interim zoning laws

Posted Date: 
February 7, 2013

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Senate Bill 105, a MACo requested bill from MACo Resolution 2010-09, is on third reading today on the Senate floor.  It passed second reading yesterday by a 27-23 margin.  There is a very concerted effort by opponents to kill the bill on third reading, and it will only take two Senators to switch their vote to kill the bill.

Update: HB 206, Increase Justice Court Filing Fees - Transmitted to Senate

Posted Date: 
February 5, 2013

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House Bill 206, a MACo-requested bill based on MACo Resolution 2012-09, was transmitted to the Senate.  It passed second reading 87-10 and third reading 88-10.  During second reading, it was amended twice, and both amendments passed. The amendments are available here:  Amendment 1 & Amendment 2.

! URGENT ! - Immediate Action Needed on HB 206, Increase Justice Court Filing Fees

Posted Date: 
February 4, 2013

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House Bill 206 - Increase fees in Justice Court is on second reading in the House today. Please contact your Representative IMMEDIATELY requesting they support House Bill 206.  (Click here to find your Representative.)

Pension Update: Week 4

Posted Date: 
February 1, 2013
Contact: 
Sheryl Wood, Associate Director, Montana Association of Counties

As everyone knows, the Montana Public Employee Retirement Systems (PERS) have significant unfunded liabilities.  Out of the eight public retirement systems, our counties have employees in PERS:  Defined Benefit Plan (PERS) and the Sheriff’s and Peace Officers Retirement System (SRS). FYI – 95% of the members of SRS are county employees. (While some counties have employees who have selected to participate in PERS – Define Contribution Plan, that is a separate system that is not involved in these discussions.)