2019 Montana State Legislature
By Jane Hamman
As the 66th Legislative Assembly rushes to adjourn for the transmittal deadline break, with the Senate already gone home, below is the status of the bills which we have been tracking that may be of interest when the legislature returns. All General Bills not transmitted to the second house by March 3 are likely dead. Virtually all of the bills to revise DUI, Motor Vehicle laws, dyed diesel in school buses, etc. will die at transmittal on March 3.
HB 178: Failed on second reading on House Floor 36-64 to Prohibit texting and driving by minors. Sponsored by Fred Anderson (R) HD 20.
HB 515: This bill to generally revise motor vehicle laws was heard Feb. 26 in H Business
and Labor. NO ACTION has been taken but likely will be upon return. Sponsored by Barry Usher
(R) HD 40. Classified as a Revenue Bill with a cost of $2400 to reprogram MERLIN, so
remains alive after transmittal.
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT GENERALLY REVISING MOTOR VEHICLE LAWS; PROVIDING FOR REVOCATION OF A COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S LICENSE FOR SEVERE FORMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING; REVISING THE DRIVER REHABILITATION PROGRAM; REVISING LICENSE REQUIREMENTS AND RENEWALS; ALLOWING A KNOWLEDGE TEST REGARDING MILITARY COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE EXPERIENCE; REVISING SURRENDER REQUIREMENTS FOR REVOKED DRIVER'S LICENSES; REVISING RESTORATION REQUIREMENTS; REVISING SELF-INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS; ELIMINATING CERTAIN INDEMNITY BONDS; REVISING RECORDKEEPING; LIMITING DISCLOSURE OF SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS; REVISING MOVING VIOLATIONS PROVISIONS FOR HABITUAL OFFENDERS; AMENDING SECTIONS 61-2-302, 61-5-111, 61-5-123, 61-5-209, 61-6-131, 61-6-157, 61-6-301, 61-6-302, 61-6-303, 61-11-102, 61-11-203, AND 61-11-508, MCA; REPEALING SECTIONS 61-6-132, 61-6-137, 61-6-138, 61-6-140, AND 61-6-142, MCA; AND PROVIDING EFFECTIVE DATES."
HB 492: Generally revise laws related to school bus safety. Sponsored by Sue Vinton (R) HD 56. DOES NOT need to meet transmittal deadline because it is classified as a Revenue Bill with general fund of about $555 per year. It has been assigned to House Judiciary and likely will be heard as soon as the legislature returns.
AN ACT REVISING MOTOR VEHICLE VIOLATIONS WHEN OVERTAKING A SCHOOL BUS; ALLOWING A VIDEO RECORDING MADE ON A SCHOOL BUS TO SUBSTANTIATE A WRITTEN REPORT OF A MOTOR VEHICLE VIOLATION WHEN OVERTAKING A SCHOOL BUS; CREATING AN INFERENCE THAT THE OWNER OR LESSEE OF A MOTOR VEHICLE WAS THE OPERATOR AT THE TIME OF THE VIOLATION WHEN THE LICENSE PLATE NUMBER OF THE MOTOR VEHICLE IS KNOWN; CREATING A CIVIL PENALTY; AND AMENDING SECTIONS 61-8-206 AND 61-8-351, MCA."
HB 412: Sponsored by Bradley Hamlett (D) HD 23 is a Revenue Bill creating State Special funds for DPHHS that has been passed 12-2 by H Transportation, passed second reading 53-47 and was re-referred to House Appropriations Committee where it was heard Feb. 27, with no action taken to date.
AN ACT REVISING THE MOTOR VEHICLE REGISTRATION TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY DONATION LAWS; PROVIDING FOR THE USE OF THE FUNDS TO EDUCATE AND SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES LIVING WITH TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES; CHANGING THE CONTRIBUTION TO AN AUTOMATIC DONATION WITH AN OPT-OUT PROVISION; AMENDING SECTIONS 2-15-2218 AND 61-3-303, MCA; AND PROVIDING A DELAYED EFFECTIVE DATE."
HB 382: Sponsored by Mary Caferro (D) HD 81 was heard and passed by H Business and Labor 13-6, passed second and third reading 58-40, was transmitted to the Senate and is scheduled for a hearing in (S) Business, Labor, and Economic Affairs March 13 Room 422 at 8:30 a.m. if you wish to comment.
REVISING INSURANCE LAWS THAT PROVIDE FOR A DISCOUNT FOR COMPLETING HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY PROGRAMS; INCREASING THE TIME A TRAFFIC SAFETY PROGRAM MAY BE EFFECTIVE FOR INSURANCE DISCOUNTS; AND AMENDING SECTIONS 33-16-223 AND 33-16-230, MCA."
HB 450: Sponsored by Brad Tschida (R) HD 97 was heard and passed 19 – 0 in House Business and Labor, passed second and third reading 96-2, was transmitted to the Senate and is scheduled for a hearing in (S) Business, Labor, and Economic Affairs March 13 Room 422 at 8:30 a.m. if you wish to comment. The Fiscal Note shows a general cost of $480 to revise MERLIN and the fee changes DO NOT affect the Traffic Ed State Special Revenue fund.
AN ACT GENERALLY REVISING MOTOR VEHICLE LAWS AND DEALER LICENSE REQUIREMENTS; REVISING VEHICLE REGISTRATION FEES; MODIFYING RECORD STORAGE REQUIREMENTS; MODIFYING BUSINESS TRANSFER REQUIREMENTS FOR DEALERS, BROKERS, AUTO AUCTIONS AND WHOLESALERS; EXPANDING LIEN PAYMENT REQUIREMENT FOR DEALERS; MODIFYING AUTO AUCTION ANNUAL REPORTS; MODIFYING DEALER ANNUAL REPORTS; REQUIRING WHOLESALERS TO PROVIDE NEW LICENSE APPLICATIONS AFTER CERTAIN BUSINESS CHANGES; REQUIRING BROKERS TO PROVIDE NEW LICENSE APPLICATIONS AFTER CERTAIN BUSINESS CHANGES; AND AMENDING SECTIONS 61-3-224, 61-4-101, 61-4-106, 61-4-110, 61-4-120, 61-4-124, 61-4-125, AND 61-4-127, MCA."
HB 629: Sponsored by Denise Hayman (D) HD 66 will be heard March 13 at 3 p.m. in House Transportation Room 455 to allow bioptic lens users to apply for a driver's license.
SB 158: Sponsored by Gordon Vance (R) SD 34 passed (S) Highways and Transportation 9-1 Feb. 12; Passed (S) 3rd Reading Passed 47-3; Scheduled for Hearing in (H) Transportation March 13 Room 455 at 3 p.m. to define autocycle and provide exemption from motorcycle endorsement: (3) "Autocycle" means a three-wheeled motorcycle that is equipped with safety belts, roll bars or roll hoops, a steering wheel, and seating that does not require the operator to straddle or sit astride it.
SB 226: Sponsored by Gordan Vance was heard in (S) Highways and Transportation and passed 10-0, passed second and third reading 46-4, and referred to H Legislation Administration where it will be heard after transmittal.
AN ACT CREATING A TRANSPORTATION INTERIM COMMITTEE AND A REVENUE INTERIM COMMITTEE; ESTABLISHING THE DUTIES OF THE COMMITTEES; REASSIGNING INTERIM COMMITTEE FUNCTIONS; AMENDING SECTIONS 5-5-202, 5-5-211, 5-5-226, 5-5-227, 5-12-302, 15-1-230, 15-6-232, 15-7-111, 15-24-3211, 15-30-3112, 15-31-322, 15-32-703, 15-70-433, 15-70-450, 17-7-140, 60-2-119, AND 61-10-154, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE."
LC1663 Sponsored by Zach Brown (D) HD 63 to generally revise transportation and other fees is a Revenue Bill that bears watching. It has not yet been introduced and text is not yet available.
LC1622 Sponsored by Kimberely Dudik (D) HD 94 Study plan to address the most dangerous roads in Montana will likely be introduced in March.
LC 3252 Sponsored by Mary Caferro (D) HD 81 is a Revenue Bill to generally revise licensing laws which needs to be tracked after transmittal.
2017 Montana State Legislature
The 2017 Legislature considered several traffic education and safety bills:
HB 471 - Exceed speed limit when in passing zone
HB 415 - Travel in right lane
HB 144 - Generally Revise Motor Vehicle Laws, amends 61-5-106 TELL is now a Learner License.
“If the licensee is under 18 years of age, the driver supervising the licensee must be a parent or legal guardian or with the permission of the licensee’s parent or legal guardian, a licensed driver 18 years of age or older.”
SB 9 - Primary enforcement of seat belt laws
HB 580 - Primary seat belt law for minors
HB 380 - Prohibit texting while driving
SB 238 - Speeding. Doubling the fines for violating the maximum speed limit by more than 10 miles per hour.
HB 528 - Restrict use of light bars on vehicle
Vetoed by Governor
HB 562 - Exempt certain cell phone use from local ordinances http://leg.mt.gov/bills/2017/AmdHtmH/HB0562GovVeto.pdf
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