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Legislative Bill Watch
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Bills we are following in the 2017 Legislature

The following are bills that the State Bar of Montana is monitoring in the 2017 Montana Legislative Session. Each entry on the Bill Watch page is linked to the bill's page on the Montana Legislature's Detailed Bill Information website and will indicate whether the Bar supports (S), opposes (O) or is taking no position but monitoring (M). (Updated 3/24/2017)

* after status indicates the bill is probably dead


Bill No. Short Title Status Bar's position
HB 2 General Appropriations Act. Sponsor: Nancy Ballance, R-HD 87 Hearings (S) Finance and Claims, 8:00 AM, Rm 317, March 24, 27, 28 Support Judicial Branch
HB 24 Providing protections to vulnerable persons from financial exploitation. Sponsor: Ron Ehli, R-HD 86 Signed by governor, March 22 M
HB 29 Require parcel to be at least 1 acre for valuation as agricultural property. Sponsor: Rep. Jeff Essman, R-HD54 Hearing -- (S) Taxation, Feb. 2, 9:00 AM, Rm 405 M
HB 44 Generally revise laws related to district court judge numbers. Sponsor: Rep. Jeff Essman, R-HD54 Passed Senate on second reading, 44-6, March 22. Re-referred to committee (S) Finance and Claims; hearing scheduled March 29, 8:00 AM, Rm 137 S
HB 46 Generally revising funding for civil legal aid. Sponsor. Rep. Kimberly Dudik, D-HD94 Tabled in Committee* -- (H) Appropriations, Jan. 31 S
HB 57 DPHHS to determine eligibility for state public defender services. Sponsor: Rep. Kimberly Dudik, D-HD94 Tabled in Committee (H) Judiciary*, Jan. 20 M
HB 58 Require public defender workload assessment study. Sponsor: Rep. Kimberly Dudik, D-HD94 Tabled in Committee (H) Judiciary*, Jan. 11 M
HB 59 Revise appointment of public defender for putative father in neglect cases. Sponsor: Rep. Kimberly Dudik, D-HD94 Signed by governor, March 1 M
HB 62 Dept. of Revenue to collect fees for public defender services. Sponsor: Rep. Randy Brodehl, R-HD 9 Passed Senate on third reading, 49-0, March 23. Returned to House. M
HB 65 Revise budget consultation between public defender offices. Sponsor: Rep. Kenneth L. Holmlund, R-HD 38 Signed by Senate President, March 23 S
HB 77 Revise public defender system and provide for a director hired by governor. Sponsor: Rep. Randy Brodehl, R-HD 9 Committee Executive Action (S) Judiciary--Bill Concurred as Amended, March 15 M
HB 81 Revise publication and distribution requirements for MAR and ARM. Sponsor: Willis Curdy, D-HD 98 Signed by governor, March 20 M
HB 87 Transfer jury list duties from secretary of state to court administrator. Sponsor: Rep. Kathy Swanson, D-HD 77 Signed by governor, Feb. 17 M
HB 89 Establish holistic defense pilot project within state public defender system. Sponsor: Rep. Kimberly Dudik, D-HD 94 Signed by governor, Feb. 20
HB 109 Require every applicant for public notary to pass an exam. Sponsor: Rep. Jean Price, D-HD 24 Missed Deadline for General Bill Transmittal* O
HB 129 Revising laws related to privacy in communications. Sponsor: Rep. Ellie Hill Smith, D-HD 90 Scheduled for third reading, March 24. M
HB 147 Requiring search warrant for gov access to electronic devices. Sponsor: Rep. Daniel Zolnikov, R-HD 45 Returned to House with amendments, March 23. M
HB 148 Generally revise privacy laws. Sponsor: Daniel Zolnikov, R-HD 45 Transmitted to governor, March 22. M
HB 277 Revise speedy trial laws for felony offenses. Sponsor: Matt Regier, R-HD 4 Taken from table in committee (S) Judiciary, March 15 M
HB 314 Increase number of district court judges. Sponsor: Nate McConnell, D-HD 89 Missed Deadline for transmittal* M
HB 399 Revising custody laws pertaining to best interest of a child. Sponsor: Daniel Zolnikov, R-HD 45 Missed deadline for transmittal, March 1* M
HB 521 Revise laws related to representation of LLC. Sponsor: Rep. Jeff Essman, R-HD54 Committee Report--Bill Concurred -- (S) Judiciary, March 23. O
HB 592 Appropriating money for security of state information technology systems. Sponsor: Daniel Zolnikov, R-HD 45 Tabled in Committee -- (H) Appropriations, March 22 M
HB 609 Generally revise privacy laws concerning protected facilities. Sponsor: Carl Glimm, R-HD 6 Hearing -- (H) Judiciary, March 23, 8:00 AM, Rm 137  
HB 636 Revise election laws for supreme court justices. Sponsor: Bradley Hamlett D-HD 23 Referred to Committee -- (H) Judiciary, March 22.  
HJ 10 Disapprove Supreme Court rules on substitution. Sponsor: Ellie Hill Smith Missed Deadline for General Bill Transmittal*  


SB 20 Revise court administrator laws to eliminate IT reporting requirement. Sponsor: Sen. Nels Swandal, R-SD30 Sent to Enrolling, March 23. M
SB 97 Prohibit the application of foreign law in state courts. Sponsor: Keith Regier, R-SD 3 Third reading, House, concurred, 56-44, March 21.  Returned from enrolling, March 22. M
SB 118 Provide for uniform act regarding fiduciary access to digital assets. Sponsor: Mary McNally, D-SD 24 Hearing (H) Judiciary March 21, 8:00 AM, Rm 137 M
SB 137 Increase taxpayer appeal options and create informal procedures. Sponsor: Duane Ankney, R-SD 20 Transmitted to governor, March 20 M
SB 192 Generally revise civil procedure laws. Sponsor: Sen. Nels Swandal, R-SD 30 Referred to Committee -- (H) Judiciary, Feb. 22 M
SB 195 Generally revise laws related to unincorporated nonprofit associations. Sponsor: Pat Connell, R-SD 43 Hearing -- (H) Judiciary, March 29, 8:00 AM, Rm 137 O (with amendments)
SB 288 Referendum to revise who pays for litigation costs. Sponsor: Edward Buttrey, R-SD 11 Tabled in Committee* -- (S) Judiciary  
SR19 Confirm Governor appointees to the Judiciary. Sponsor: Keith Regier, R-SD 3 Filed with Secretary of State, Feb. 13 S
SR 22 Confirm Governor's appointee to 5th Judicial District. Sponsor: Keith Regier, R-SD 3 Filed with Secretary of State, Feb. 13 S
SJ 15 Resolution opposing a proposed Montana Supreme Court rule. Sponsor: David Howard (R) SD 2 Hearing (H) Judiciary March 23, 8:00 AM, Rm 137 M