Updated: Jul 21
An astonishing 4,332 bill draft requests have already been submitted to the Montana Legislation committee, according to the state Legislative Services Division. For perspective, the entire 2021 legislation session had 3,367 bills. Despite the large number, most of these requests will not end up making it to committee based on previous years. In the 2019 and 2021 sessions, less than 40% of the bill requests were introduced for debate and 20% or less of those requests have made it through the Legislature.
There are 271 bills that have already been assigned to committees before Legislation has begun. The first week of the session will see at least 85 of those bills in their first committee hearings. A majority of these bills are tackling cleaning up state code and consolidating state boards.
The committee work is starting work immediately which is unprecedented according to House speaker-elect Rep. Matt Regier, R-Kalispell, in an interview with KTVH.
The current topics are mainly concerned with education, election and taxes. So far, these are the bill requests:
28 deal with abortion
49 deal with guns and weapons
52 deal with marijuana
81 deal with housing
147 deal with fish and wildlife
269 deal with education
269 deal with elections
342 deal with taxes
Additionally, 48 proposals for amending the Montana Constitution have been submitted. If two-thirds of the Legislature endorse the amendment, it will be placed on the 2024 ballot for voters to approve or reject. Currently, Republicans have a 102-seat supermajority which means if they united, they could advance a proposed constitutional amendment.