Montana AFL-CIO 2017 Legislative Transmittal Report

The Montana AFL-CIO has released its 2017 Legislative Transmittal Report.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REPORT

HB 13- State Employee Pay Plan, Moffie Funk (D-Helena)

Position- Support
Description- This is the pre-budget negotiated state employee pay plan. Provides a 1% pay increase over the biennium.
Status- Yet to be heard, assigned to House Appropriations

HB 14- Bonding Program, Jim Keane (D-Butte)

Position- Support
Description- Governor Bullock’s “Jobs in Montana” Act. Would provide $292 million in cash and bonds for a statewide solution to Montana’s infrastructure needs.
Status- In House Appropriations

HB 21- Establish benefits and retirement security task force, Jim Keane (D-Butte)

Position- Support
Description- Would have set up a five person task force to ensure that corporate interests would not dump any pension liabilities in potential closures of the Colstrip Units.
Status- Tabled in House Energy Committee

HB 22- Appropriate money to assist/intervene/plan for closure of coal fired generation, Jim Keane (D- Butte)

Position- Support
Description- Provides an appropriation for the Montana Attorney General to intervene in Puget Sound Energy (PSE) rate filing at Washington State’s Utility and Transportation Committee. Provides Montana a voice in the discussion around PSE’s future in Colstrip.
Status- Passed House, transmitted to Senate

HB 32- Revise school funding related to special education, Kathy Kelker (D-Billings)

Position- Support
Description- Revises school funding related to special education. More or less the consensus bill to increase special education funding.
Status- Tabled in Appropriations

HB 229- Allowing worker to choose treating physician in workers compensation cases, Andrea Olsen (D-Missoula)

Position- Support
Description- The right of an injured worker to select their own doctor was eliminated under the so called work comp “reform” bill of 2011. This bill was a simple change that would have given that right back.
Status- Tabled in House Business and Labor

HB 268- Create offence related to assault of a healthcare and emergency responders, James O’Hara (R-Fort Benton)

Position- Support
Description- Would have helped create a safer workplace culture for our healthcare workers and facilities by establishing a felony punishment for those convicted of assault against nurses, healthcare workers and emergency responders.
Status- Tabled in House Judiciary

HB 308- Provide apprenticeship tax credit with increased amount for veterans, Casey Schreiner (D-Great Falls)

Position- Support
Description- This bill seeks to incentivize employers to hire apprentices by providing a $1,000 tax credit per apprentice and $2,000 tax credit for every apprentice that is a veteran.
Status- In House Taxation

HB 329- Revise contract amount at which prevailing wage is paid, Teresa Manzella (R-Bitterroot)

Position- Oppose
Description- HB 329 could exempt 20% of public projects from having to pay prevailing wages by changing the project size in which prevailing wages must be paid. In addition to exempting these projects from paying prevailing wage, would also remove the requirement to employ 50% bonafide Montanans. Would certainly lead to a race to the bottom for wages for construction workers and be a boon for out of state contractors.
Status- Died on House Floor

HB 376- Establish public charter schools, Jonathan Windy Boy (D-Box Elder)

Position- Oppose
Description- This unconstitutional bill would establish charter schools. In addition to being unconstitutional, it is also unnecessary given the fact charter schools can already be established in Montana.
Status- Passed House, transmitted to Senate

HB 385- Provide for Montana school safety act, Seth Berglee (Red Lodge)

Position- Oppose
Description- This dangerous bill would allow school district employees to carry concealed weapons in schools. Thankfully, this bill died on the House floor.
Status- Died on House Floor

HB 387- Authorize establishment of 12-bed intensive behavior unit, Kirk Wagoner (R-Clancy)

Position- Support
Description- HB 387 is a small step to fixing the mistake of closing Montana Developmental Center (MDC). Would authorize a 12 bed unit for the most difficult cases that private providers cannot handle.
Status- Passed House, transmitted to Senate

HB 417- Generally revise laws related to nondiscrimination, Kelly McCarthy (D-Billings)

Position- Support
Description- This bill would provide for statewide nondiscrimination ordinance that would protect LGBTQ citizens from being fired for their gender identity or sexual orientation.
Status- Tabled in House Judiciary

HB 423 – Create special neds education savings account, Seth Berglee (R- Joliet)

Position- Opposed
Description- Creates pay vouchers (a mix of state and local public dollars) for special need kids, 504 kids, military dependents, and all their siblings to go to any school they want anywhere in the world. Like HB 376 atrocious public policy, abkect misappropriation of public funds, and unconstitutional. Governor Bullock vetoed this same bill las session.
Status- In House Education

HB 449- Revise the definition of wages in workers’ compensation insurance, Wiley Galt (R-Martinsdale)

Position- Oppose
Description- This bill attempts to take tips, housing, and other forms of compensation out of the calculation for workers compensation benefits. Even in it’s amended form, it is a bad bill.
Status- Passed House, Transmitted to Senate

HB 473- Revise highway revenue laws, Frank Garner (R-Kalispell)

Position- Support
Description- HB 473 would provide for 8 cents a gallon increase in the gas tax. Passing this bill will provide a long term fix for highway project funding.
Status- In House Transportation

HB 493- Prohibit state use of private for-profit prisons, Casey Schreiner (D-Great Falls)

Position- Support
Description- This bill would have prohibited the state from contracting with private prisons.
Status- Tabled in House Judiciary

HB 496- Exempt seasonal outdoor recreation provider employees’ from certain labor laws, Vince Ricci (R-Laurel)

Position- Oppose
Description- Another attack intended to drive down wages in Montana. This bill would exempt a broad swath of employees in “seasonal outdoor recreation” sector from minimum wage and over time.
Status- Passed House, Transmitted to Senate

HB 563- Establish Montana preschool grant program, Kathy Kelker (D-Billings)

Position- Support
Description- Governor Bullock’s “Early Edge” early childhood education bill that would establish a preschool grant program.
Status- Assigned to House Education

SB 36- Eliminate the electrical license exemption for grid tied generation, Duane Ankney (R-Colstrip)

Position- Support
Description- This was a good bill that insures linemen safety and grid security by removing the home owner exemption for electrical work on net metering systems. Effective, July 1, 2017 net metering systems need to be installed by a licensed electrical workers
Status- Became Law

SB 72- Create presumptive illness for firefighters, Pat Connell (R-Hamilton)

Position- Support
Description- Establishes presumptive illness coverage for firefighters covering lung cancer and diseases. Transfers the burden of proof from the firefighter to the state to prove that lung cancers and diseases in certain firefighters were not contracted on the job.
Status- Passed Senate, transmitted to house

SB 116- Disallowing workers compensation benefits for certain false statements, Mark Blasdel (R-Somers)

Position- Oppose
Description- This bill would take away workers compensation benefits from workers for not disclosing personal medical information. Not only is this bill an invasion of privacy, but is another attack on injured workers.
Status- Passed Senate, Transmitted to House

SB 166- Adopt advanced nurse licensure compact, Ed Buttry (R-Great Falls)

Position- Oppose
Description- Anti-labor, anti-staff nurse, significantly changes nursing practice in MT related to licensure jurisdiction. Revenue losses to Department of Labor Board of Nursing and loss of state sovereignty as compact dictates background checks and license requirements.
Status- Passed Senate, Transmitted to House

SB209 – Increasing ratios of Montana residents on certain public-funded projects, Frank Smith (D- Poplar)

Position- Support
Description- This bill would insure that we hire more Montanans on public works projects, by increasing the hire preference from 50% to 75%.
Status- Tabled in Senate Business and Labor

SB 217- Providing laws related paycheck protection, Diane Sands (D-Missoula)

Position- Support
Description- This was an important pay equity legislation. SB 217 would have protected workers that disclosed their own pay from retribution from their employer for doing so.
Status- Tabled in Senate Business and Labor

SB 308- Laws related to prevailing wage and district dispatch criteria, Eric Moore (R- Miles City)

Position- Opposed
Description- This bill sought to require a dispatch point within 100 miles of every county seat for prevailing wage purposes. In addition to being a wage cut for construction workers, this bill would be unwieldy and costly to implement.
Status- Died in Senate Business and Labor

Share This:

1 Comment

  1. I count 9 anti-worker Bills; and only SB 72 as pro worker.
    Plus Minimum wage held to $8.15 = 10 out of 11 Bills are pro-Koch, anti workers.

    The AFL-CIO Transmittal report would be posted on a progressive Montana Blog. If there was such, to counter balance the LEE Inc. anti-union nonsense.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*