2021 Legislative Update: Week 1

January 4th was the beginning the 67th Montana Legislative Session. Virtual testimony will be available during the session and more information on that can be found HERE.

Below is a recap of bills from the first week that Grow MT is supporting, watching, and opportunities for action.

State Soil Health Study

This bill would create a subcommittee within the Environmental Quality Council Interim Committee to study how the state might promote and support soil health. It is sponsored by Senator Pat Flowers.

The draft language (LC1256) is not yet available on the legislative website, and no committee hearing is scheduled. Next steps are to identify co-sponsor(s), get constituencies to contact their senator and representative in support of the study.

Next Steps & Opportunity for Action
The fact sheet about this bill is on the Grow Montana website HERE. Contact your senator and representative in support of the bill. You can find your legislator by address or name HERE. Consider asking your agricultural organization to actively support the bill.

Double SNAP Dollars Bill

The draft bill text (LC0640) is available on the leg.mt.gov Bill Look Up. 
Montana Food Bank Network is the lead on this bill and Rep. Tom Welch is the sponsoring legislator.

HB69: Eliminate the reduced-price category for school meals

HB69 would eliminate the reduced-price co-pays for school meals (so reduced price kids would get school meals for free).  Montana Food Bank Network is supporting this bill. Language of the bill can be found here: http://leg.mt.gov/bills/2021/billpdf/HB0069.pdf

Next Steps & Opportunities for Action
A hearing has been scheduled for 1/18/2021 at 3:00PM in room 137 in House Education. MFBN will be testifying virtually.