Montana’s 61st Legislature convenes today

The 61st Legislature begins today in Helena. The Legislature meets every two years for its regular session lasting for 90 working days. This year’s session will adjourn on April 25. See below for a list of the important dates for the legislature and for links to some of the news coverage leading up to the Legislature. For more information, click on the Montana Legislative Branch website. The Montana Stockgrowers Association will be very active in the legislature this year, as always, so stay tuned for more information!

Key Legislative Dates: (from the Helena Independent Record)

Jan. 5 (Day 1) Opening day, with all new legislators sworn into office.
Jan. 16 (Day 16) Last day for legislators to request general bills to be drafted.
Jan. 24 (Day 17) Last day for legislators to request revenue or tax bills to be drafted.
Feb. 16 (Day 26) Last day for legislative committees to request general bills to be drafted.
Feb. 26 (Day 45) The halfway point and transmittal deadline for all bills, except for budget and tax bills, to be sent from one chamber to the other. Those that miss the deadline automatically die.
Feb. 27-March 1 A short breather. Legislators take transmittal break.
March 2 (Day 46) Second half of Legislature begins.
March 18 (Day 60) Deadline for House to send revenue-estimating resolution to Senate.
March 20 (Day 62) Last day for committees to request revenue or tax bills.
March 26 (Day 67) Deadline for the House to send all transmittal bills to the Senate.
April 10-April 13 Easter break.
April 14 (Day 80) Legislature resumes. Deadline for transmittal of amendments to appropriations bills.
April 16 (Day 82) Deadline for transmittal of amendments to revenue bills and revenue-estimating resolution.
April 25 (Day 90) Adjournment date.

Legislative Headlines

***Email ariel@mtbeef.org to sign up for MSGA’s Daily Update email with headlines related to the Legislature, the cattle industry, politics, the economy, and wildlife and environment.

Legislature convenes today
Montana state officials sworn in
Roster of Montana legislative leaders
Senate leader Story called a pragmatist
Incoming House speaker knows how to fight fires
Schweitzer looking forward to new term
Schweitzer plans few initiatives
Schweitzer’s budget risky, analysis suggests
Budget darkens session’s opening
Finances may help diminish divisions in 2009 Montana Legislature
Legislators face tough test with budget
Gazette Opinion: Shrinking revenue helps lawmakers focus on budget
Guest Opinion: Legislature should support business goals
Legislators’ priorities for session split along party lines
Outdoors issues await lawmakers
Brucellosis: Bill would make state pay for testing
Property reappraisal to dominate tax issues
Energy a hot topic at 2009 session
Carbon capture bill bubbling up in MT Senate
Water, education funding top Juneau’s priorities
Hot-button issues face Bozeman lawmakers
For those with online access, Legislature details a click away
Anyone can have say at Legislature
Legislative lexicon
TV coverage of Legislature expands

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