Because the 2021 session of the Montana Legislature attracts nearer to the tip a lot of payments have made their method to the governor’s desk and a few of these have already been signed. Others are nonetheless awaiting Gov. Gianforte’s signature. Right here’s a have a look at a couple of of the payments that must be of curiosity to these within the Sidney space, together with safe voting, elevated DUI fines, ending time adjustments and a everlasting growth of telehealth providers.
Governor Greg Gianforte has signed Senate Invoice 169 and Home Invoice 176 which the governor mentioned are geared toward preserving the integrity of Montana’s elections.
“Montana has an extended historical past of safe, clear elections, setting an ordinary for the nation,” Gov. Gianforte mentioned. “These new legal guidelines will assist make sure the continued integrity of Montana’s elections for years to come back.”
Additionally supporting the measures was Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen, who added, “Montana units the usual for elections throughout the nation, nevertheless, there may be at all times room for enchancment, and voter ID and voter registration deadlines are greatest practices in defending the integrity of elections.”
Sponsored by Senator Mike Cuffe (R-Eureka), SB 169 requires Montanans to supply identification to vote and register to vote.
Identification choices embody a Montana driver’s license, a tribal photograph identification card, a state identification card quantity pursuant to 61-12-501, and a army identification card, amongst others.
HB 176, sponsored by Rep. Sharon Greef (R-Florence), closes late voter registration at midday the day earlier than the election. With this new regulation, Montana joins almost thirty different states with out election day voter registration.
HB 258 has handed the legislature and been signed by Gov. Gianforte. The invoice would ban state staff from implementing or implementing federal bans on firearms, magazines or ammunition, besides in sure circumstances, together with these associated to totally automated firearms, violent felons, and home violence.
The invoice’s sponsor, Rep. Jedediah Hinkle (R-Belrade) mentioned the invoice was tabled within the Home Judiciary Committee after the Montana Sheriff’s and Peace Officer’s Affiliation (MSPOA) introduced their opposition however was later revived.
Sponsored by Rep. Invoice Mercer, R-Billings, HB 115 would enhance fines and jail time for fifth and subsequent DUI convictions. Fines would enhance as much as $10,000 and will additionally embody as much as 25 years in jail for a seventh conviction.
The Home voted to just accept amendments from the Senate on a 73-27 vote, that means the invoice faces another vote earlier than heading to Gov. Greg Gianforte’s desk.
Throughout a Home debate on the invoice in February, Mercer positioned the invoice as a method to stop drunken drivers who attain their fifth or sixth DUI convictions from doubtlessly harming folks on the highway. He added that whereas repeat offenses are much less and fewer probably every time an individual is cited for driving beneath the affect, those that attain 5 or 6 convictions aren’t more likely to cease.
Senate Invoice 254 has handed out of the legislature and is ready on the governor’s signature. It might cease the state from falling again an hour in November if three different states within the area go related laws. The invoice, nevertheless, can’t formally develop into regulation except the federal authorities additionally approves the measure.
In response to the Nationwide Convention of State Legislatures, 28 states thought-about laws to place an finish to time adjustments, together with a lot of western states. Idaho and Utah handed related laws in 2020, that means just one extra state must dispose of their time change for Montana to presumably make the swap if and when Uncle Sam offers his blessing as properly.
The Montana Home of Representatives and Senate each authorised this controversial invoice this previous Thursday afternoon. Home Invoice 112 bounced backwards and forwards between homes a lot of occasions earlier than lastly seeing the sunshine of day. The invoice would bar transgender ladies from competing in ladies’s sports activities.
Throughout its third debate on the Home Ground, the invoice’s sponsor, Rep. John Fuller (R-Whitefish), urged passage of the invoice, even when it’s attainable it is going to face authorized challenges.
This invoice is awaiting the governor’s signature.
As an fascinating facet be aware, North Dakota’s governor vetoed related laws this previous week, stating no transgender feminine had requested to take part in lady’s sports activities at this level.
Governor Greg Gianforte has signed a invoice to remove pointless telehealth laws and open the door to increasing entry to well being care.
“Telehealth providers are remodeling how care is delivered in Montana, notably in our frontier and rural communities,” Gianforte mentioned. “This new, commonsense regulation eliminates pointless, burdensome laws, will increase flexibility for sufferers and suppliers and makes well being care extra accessible to extra Montanans. If these telehealth laws weren’t wanted as we confront the pandemic, they’re not wanted as we transfer ahead.”
Sponsored by Rep. Rhonda Knudsen (R-Culbertson), HB 43 completely eliminates some telehealth laws waived through the pandemic, like geographic and web site restrictions and a requirement that sufferers and suppliers set up a relationship previous to leveraging telehealth providers beneath sure circumstances.
A proposed modification to Montana’s State Structure has handed the Legislature and can seem on the poll in 2022 for ratification by the voters.
The constitutional modification was introduced by Senator Ken Bogner, R-Miles Metropolis. It might change the state’s structure to guard the privateness of Montanans’ digital knowledge and communications.
Article II, Part 11 of the Montana State Structure already protects Montanans’ individuals, papers, houses, and results from unreasonable searches and seizures, just like the Fourth Modification protections of the U.S. Structure.
The constitutional modification proposed by Senate Invoice 203 would add Montanans’ “digital knowledge and communications” to that listing of locations and gadgets that can not be searched or seized by the federal government with no warrant primarily based on possible trigger.