Week Thirteen of the 2021 Legislative Session:
What You Need to Know
The 2021 Legislative Session is in full swing and the Montana Women Vote staff are here to keep you informed and give you the tools to affect policy and create positive change in our state.
Join us Wednesday evening (6 – 7:30) for a Legislative Phone Bank! We’ve been having a lot of fun every week calling Montanans to talk about issues and getting engaged with the legislative session. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram for more info.
Attacks on Healthcare and our Social Safety Net — OPPOSE
Senate Bill 100, carried by Sen. Cary Smith, would make it more difficult for Montanans to qualify for public assistance programs, leading to low-income folks losing healthcare or SNAP benefits, even if they’re eligible for those programs.
House Bill 676, carried by Rep. Jane Gillette, makes multiple changes to CHIP and Medicaid and would increase the number of uninsured children in Montana, further complicate DPHHS’s ability to verify information, and making access to health coverage more difficult for both children and adults.
Both SB 100 and HB 676 leave Montana families, hospitals and providers, and communities vulnerable to loss of coverage and services, uncompensated care, and worsening health outcomes
Tax Breaks for the Wealthy — OPPOSE
Senate Bill 159 and Senate Bill 182 are part of a package of special tax breaks for the wealthy who could get over $1,000 while the rest of us will get less than $20. SB 159 would reduce Montana’s top individual income tax rate, and SB 182 could trigger deep tax cuts in the future. SB 159 and SB 182 passed the Senate, had hearings in the House Taxation Committee, and are awaiting executive action.
Call your representative and the House Taxation Committee today at (406)444-4800 or send them a message through this online form, and ask them to VOTE NO on SB 159 and SB 182! The Capitol Switchboard is open weekdays from 7:30 am to 5 pm.
Discrimination by Design — OPPOSE
Senate Bill 215, carried by Sen. Carl Glimm, would allow individuals and businesses to legally discriminate against a person if they claim it burdens their religious expression. SB 215 passed the Senate and the House Judiciary Committee and is headed to the House floor.
Senate Bill 280, carried by Sen. Carl Glimm, would force transgender people to have surgery and go through a court process before their birth certificate could be changed to their correct gender. SB 280 passed the Senate and had a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on March 26.
Call your representative at (406) 444-4800 or send them a message through this online form, and ask them to VOTE NO on SB 215 and SB 280. The Capitol Switchboard is open weekdays from 7:30 am to 5 pm.
House Bill 427 and House Bill 112 are headed to the Senate floor. HB 427, carried by Rep. John Fuller, would ban transgender minors from accessing gender-affirming medical treatment. HB 112, carried by Rep. John Fuller, would ban transgender athletes from participating in sports in Montana public schools.
HBs 112 and 427 passed the House and the Senate Judiciary Committee and are headed to the Senate floor. They will likely have a Senate floor vote this week.
Call your senator at (406)444-4800 or send them a message through this online form, and ask them to VOTE NO on HB 112 and HB 427! The Capitol Switchboard is open weekdays from 7:30 am to 5 pm.
COVID Relief Funds
After years of being told there isn’t enough money, we have the funds to invest in housing, health care, schools, pre-K, and infrastructure – just when Montana families need the help the most. Unfortunately, lawmakers seem more interested in giving irresponsible tax cuts to the wealthy while cutting services for the rest of us. That’s not fair and it’s not right for Montana.
Budget — HB 2
The Montana Senate Finance and Claims Committee is debating the budget (House Bill 2) Monday and Tuesday of this week after the House passed it last week. Ask your Senator to build up state services for those in need – not to advance tax cuts for the wealthy at (406) 444-4800 or send them a message through this online form. The Capitol Switchboard is open weekdays from 7:30 am to 5 pm.