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Volume 26, Issue 2
Published January 10, 2021

Letter from the Unofficial (Yet Still Official) Editor

Hello All!

The 67th Legislative Session is freshly underway, having just convened last Monday, January 4th. The usual hustle and bustle of the Capitol building–often filled with legislators, lobbyists, the public, and guided tours–was unnervingly absent. Some legislators and advocates still haunted the halls, but for the most part, the first week’s chaos migrated primarily to computer screens, cell phones, and emails.

Committees are still convening in their usual rooms, but participation has largely moved to virtual. Rest-assured, lobbying is still 100% a thing. It’s just different. For example, instead of lunch or a chat down the hall to the next bill hearing, we’re texting and emailing manically between (and during) calls and Zoomies (my new word for “Zoom meetings”—no time to say two words; it’ll catch on, just you wait and see).

Having said all that, keep in mind we only have one week under our belt, and as 2021 is 2020’s child, we can and should fully expect things to change and evolve as the weeks progress.

As we all know this session is the first of its kind. The pandemic has undeniably added an additional layer of confusion and trepidation; however, legislators and lobbyists alike are acclimating well to the new ways of conducting business. By the end of the first week, hybrid meetings were in full swing with few technical issues, and everyone began finding their new groove.

Pro Tip: If you’d like to advocate remotely for or against a bill, be sure to register via Montana’s legislative website by noon the day before the hearing. You can register as soon as three days prior.

If you’re still on uneven footing, no worries. We’re here to help keep you apprised of what’s happening on the hill. Every week until Sine Die during these trying and perplexing times, we’ll be releasing a new issue of the MACo Legislative Update.

Our second issue features information about participating virtually, as well as the 2021 legislative session calendar and the bill hearings scheduled for the upcoming week thus far. Don’t forget to check out the bills section, where you’ll be able to follow the status of MACo’s legislation, as well as track the growing list of bills in which we are monitoring and/or actively participating.

Click the button below to check out the new issue.

For other pertinent information regarding the legislative session, visit our policy section of the MACo website.

See you either virtually via the internet highway or in the halls!

PS: 85 legislative days remaining

Sincerely,

Shantil Siaperas
Communications Director
Montana Association of Counties

(The Legislative Update is linked below.)
Questions? We Got you!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Eric Bryson, MACo Executive Director:  406-461-2084, ebryson@mtcounties.org

Jason Rittal, MACo Deputy Director:  406- 698-3255, jrittal@mtcounties.org

Shantil Siaperas, MACo Communications Director:  406-925-1134, shantil@mtcounties.org