Legislative Update, Week 6

Legislative Update, Week 6

Bills MFU Supported:

  • HB 235 — Create nutrition incentive program for SNAP participants. This bill is sponsored by Rep. Tom Welch and was heard in the House Human Services Committee on Feb. 3. 
  • SB 147 — Establish commercial property assessed capital enhancements program. This bill is sponsored by Sen. Mary McNally and was heard in Senate Energy and Telecommunications committee on Feb. 2.
  • Confirmation for Director of Agriculture: Montana Farmers Union testified in support of the confirmation of Mike Foster as the Director of the Department of Agriculture. Montana looks forward to working with him and the Department of Agriculture in the future.
  • HB 14 — Long-Range Building Bonding Program: MFU testified and provided public comment this past week in support of full funding for the MAES, Ag Extension, the Wool Lab, and the MT Veterinary Diagnostic & Ag Analytical Labs building project. 

Coming up: Bills MFU will Support this week:

  • HB 94 — Expand loan types in Montana Farmer Loan Repayment Assistance Program. This bill is sponsored by Rep. Kenneth Walsh and was heard on Jan. 14 in House Agriculture. It will be heard in the Senate Ag Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 9.
  • HB 142 — Generally revise hemp laws. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Josh Kassmier. This bill was voted on in the House Ag committee on Jan. 21 and passed out of committee. The bill will be heard on Feb. 9 in the Senate Agriculture committee
  • HB 103 — Revise cooperative laws to provide for remote participation. We are in strong support of cooperatives as it is a guidepost of Montana Farmers Union. This bill is a fix that allows for virtual participation at cooperative meetings which they were previously limited.

Action taken on bills of Support:

  • HB 93 — Expand materials certified under noxious weed seed free program. This bill was heard in the Senate Ag committee on February 2nd. MFU supported this bill again.
  • SB 27 — Allow multiplier reimbursement for loss of livestock. This bill is sponsored by Sen. Butch Gillespie. This bill was heard on Jan. 12 in Senate Agriculture and passed unanimously out of the Senate Ag committee on Jan. 14. The bill was heard in the House Agriculture committee on Jan. 26, which MFU testified in support.  The House Committee concurred.
  • SB 26 — Clarify use of tribal agreements for livestock producers within reservations. This bill was sponsored Sen. Butch Gillespie and heard in Senate Agriculture on Jan. 12 and passed unanimously out of the Senate Ag committee on Jan. 14. This bill has been sent back to the Senate after passing both houses, and has now been sent to enrolling.


2023 Montana Farmers Union Annual Convention

October 27, 2023 - October 28, 2023
Heritage Inn, Great Falls MT