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Legislative Bill Watch
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The following are bills that the State Bar of Montana is monitoring in the 2015 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, opposes or is taking no position on the bill. (Updated 5/4/2015 8:30 a.m.)

HB2

Sponsor Nancy Ballance  (R) HD87 – General Appropriations Act 

Status – Signed by governor, May 5; returned with governor's line-item veto, May 5; veto override mail poll letter being prepared, May 6

Bar's position: Support judicial

HB 12

Sponsor – Ellie Boldman Hill (D) HD90 – Provide for a decree of dissolution without a hearing when uncontested

Status – Signed by governor, March 30.

Bar's position: Monitoring

HB 26

Sponsor – Margaret MacDonald (D) HD51 – Adjust debt limit allowed for summary dissolution

Status – Signed by governor, Feb. 25.

Bar's position: Monitoring

HB 74

Sponsor – Ryan Lynch (D) HD76 – Require notice to the attorney general regarding data breaches

Status – Signed by governor, Feb. 27.

Bar's position: Support

HB 133

Sponsor – Margaret MacDonald (D) HD51 – Authorize the public defender to award fixed-fee contracts

Status – Signed by governor, March 20.

Bar's position: Monitoring

HB 139

Sponsor – Nate McConnell (D) HD89 - Clarify public defender involvement in eligibility determination

Status – Signed by governor, Feb. 17.

Bar's position: Monitoring

HB 143

Sponsor – Nate McConnell (D) HD89 – Suspend payment of public defender fee during incarceration

Status – Signed by governor, Feb. 17.

Bar's position: Monitoring

HB 255

Sponsor – Matthew Monforton (R) HD69 – Referendum regarding disqualification of judges receiving certain contributions

Status – TABLED IN COMMITTEE (H) Judiciary, Feb. 9; missed deadline for referendum proposal trasnsmittal, March 31.

Bar's position: Oppose

HB 261

Sponsor – Ryan Lynch (D) HD76 – Revise laws regarding clerk of court fees for transmitting records

Status – TABLED IN COMMITTEE (H) Judiciary, Jan. 30; missed deadline for referendum proposal trasnsmittal, March 31.

Bar's position: Monitoring

HB 272

Sponsor – Ellie Boldman Hill (D) HD90 – Adoption of the uniform collaborative law act

Status – Signed by governor, April 8.

Bar's position: Oppose

HB 343

Sponsor – Bryce Bennett (D) HD91 – Prohibit request of online passwords as a condition of hiring or employment

Status – Signed by governor, April 23.

Bar's position: Monitoring

HB 366

Sponsor – Geraldine Custer (R) HD39 – Revise county district court clerk and justice of peace compensation laws

Status – Signed by governor, April 2.

Bar's position: Monitoring

HB 430

Sponsor – Steve Fitzpatrick (R) HD69 – Provide for an interim judicial redistricting commission

Status – Third Senate reading concurred, 27-23, April 14; sent to enrolling April 15; returned from enrolling, April 16.

Bar's position: Support

HB 447

Sponsor – Kirk Wagoner (R) HD75 – Revise right to participate laws related to attorney fees

Status – Signed by governor, April 23.

Bar's position: Monitoring

HB 448

Sponsor – Kirk Wagoner (R) HD75 – Revise right to know laws related to attorney fees

Status – Signed by governor, April 27.

Bar's position: Monitoring

HB 461

Sponsor – Steve Lavin (R) HD8 – Revise salary for certain justice position

Status – Transmitted to governor, March 30.

Bar's position: Monitoring

HB 513

Sponsor – Andrew Person (D) HD96 – Clarify rules of evidence for mental health professional-client privilege

Status – Signed by governor, April 2.

Bar's position: Monitoring

HB 515

Sponsor – Willis Curdy (D) HD98 – Revise Montana's probate code

Status – Tabled in committee, (S) Business, Labor and Economic Affairs, April 8.

Bar's position: Monitoring

HB 615

Sponsor – Carl Glimm (R) HD6 – Revise laws related to the fundamental rights under the MT Constitution

Status – Second reading not passed, 50-50, March 27; missed deadline for referendum proposal trasnsmittal, March 31.

Bar's position: Monitoring

HB 631

Sponsor – Nicholas Schwaderer (R) HD14 – Create new judicial districts

Status – TABLED IN COMMITTEE – (H) Judiciary, March 26; missed deadline for referendum proposal trasnsmittal, March 31.

Bar's position: Monitoring

HJ 21

Sponsor – Bryce Bennett (D) HD91 – Interim study on ownership of personal information

Status – Filed with Secretary of State, April 30.

Bar's position: Monitoring

SB 15

Sponsor – Nels Swandal (R) SD30 – Clarify laws relating to the call of a retired judge or justice

Status – Signed by governor, Feb. 17

Bar's position: Support

SB 59

Sponsor – Robyn Driscoll (D) SD 25 – Clarify the court's consideration of the eligibility process

Status – Signed by governor, Feb. 25.

Bar's position: Monitoring

SB 72

Sponsor – Taylor Brown (R) SD28 – Allowing political party endorsements and expenditures in judicial races

Status – Signed by governor, March 9.

Bar's position: Monitoring

SB 89

Sponsor – John Brenden (R) SD17 – Require supreme court justices/district court judges to file financial reports

Status – Signed by governor, March 30.

Bar's position: Support

SB 139

Sponsor – Diane Sands (D) SD49 – Revise jury selection laws

Status – Signed by governor, March 16.

Bar's position: Monitoring

SB234

Sponsor – Fred Thomas (R) SD44 – Revise tax and fees for professional liability insurance

Status – Signed by governor, April 30.

Bar's position – Informational

SB 235

Sponsor – Kris Hansen (R) SD14 – Generally revise laws related to the courts

Status – Vetoed by governor, April 24.

Bar's position: Support

SB 253

Sponsor – Mary McNally (SD24) – Provide for uniform act for powers of appointment for estate planning

Status – Transmitted to governor, April 16.

Bar's position: Monitor

SB 266

Sponsor – Mary McNally (SD24) – Provide for uniform act regarding fiduciary access to digital assets

Status – Tabled in committee, March 13

Bar's position: Monitor

SB 306

Sponsor – Elsie Arntzen (R) SD26 – Generally revise laws on notarial acts

Status – Signed by governor, May 4.

Bar's position: Monitoring

SB 413

Sponsor – Elsie Arntzen (R) SD26 – Generally revise laws related to the courts

Status – TABLED IN COMMITTEE – (S) Finance and Claims, March 27; missed deadline for referendum proposal trasnsmittal, March 31.

Bar's position: Monitoring

SR 15

Sponsor – Scott Sales (R) SD35 – Confirm governor's appointees to the judiciary

Status – RESOLUTION ADOPTED – March 10, 50-0; filed with secretary of state, March 12.

Bar's position: Monitoring

SR 45

Sponsor – Dee Brown (R) SD2 – Confirm commissioner of political practices

Status – Died in standing committee (S) State Administration, April 28.

Bar's position: Monitoring

SR 53

Sponsor – Jon C. Sesso (D) SD37 – Resolution to confirm Jonathan Motl as commissioner of political practices

Status – Filed with secretary of state, April 27.

Bar's position: Monitoring