Montana Legislature Passes Half-Way Point of 2021 Session

Date: March 05, 2021

NFIB in thick of lobbying activity for bills helpful for small businesses

State Director Ronda Wiggers reports from Helena on the small-business agenda for the legislative and political week ending March 5

I am happy to report that the 2021 Legislative Session is officially half done!  All bills introduced after this point must involve money—either appropriations or tax. 

It is time to evaluate NFIB’s progress and take inventory of what work remains to be done. I have updated the watch list so that it no longer includes bills that are dead or no longer of interest. 

Bills NFIB supported/monitored signed into law
  • SB 65, Revise civil liability laws (Covid liability) – support
  • SB 66, Generally revise the Montana Business Corporation Act – monitor
  • SB 118, Revise laws relating to false statements to employers & workers’ compensation – supported (this one is only in enrolling, not yet signed)
Bills NFIB is SUPPORTING and their current status
  • HB 252, Non-refundable tax credit for employer-paid education of trade professions – passed House – Scheduled for hearing (S) Tax, 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 9
  • HB 254, Revise the wrongful discharge act – passed House – Scheduled for hearing (S) B&L, 9 a.m. on Wednesday, March 10
  • HB 303, Revise business equipment tax laws: BIG Jobs Act – passed the House and the Senate Tax committee – awaiting Senate floor action
  • HB 407, Establish a statewide uniformity for auxiliary container regulations – passed the House and referred to Senate B&L
  • SB 91, Require fiscal notes to include business impact – passed the Senate – referred to House State Admin
  • SB 159, Personal Income Tax Relief Act – passed the Senate – scheduled for hearing (H) Tax, 8 a.m. on Wednesday, March 10
  • SB 182 Generally revise laws on state finance, reducing tax rate (trigger bill) – passed the Senate – Scheduled for hearing in (H) Tax, 8 a.m. on Wednesday, March 10
  • SB 260  Generally revise related to property interests & transfer of businesses – passed the Senate and referred to House B&L
Bills NFIB is OPPOSING and their current status
  • None
Bills NFIB supported that lost
  • None
Bills NFIB opposed that are TABLED/Defeated
  • HB 187, Provide for local option sales tax
  • HB 228, Establish family medical leave insurance
  • HB 265, Phase out use of Styrofoam in food-related businesses
  • HB 284, Provide living wage
  • HB 351, Revise disability parking laws
  • HB 412, Restore right for worker to choose treating physician in workers’ compensation
  • HB 431, Revise property tax on intangible personal property
  • HB 486, Provide an increase in minimum wage
  • HB 500, Generally revise labor laws
  • HB 511, Generally revise laws relating to the Montana State Fund
  • HB 512, Generally revise workers’ compensation laws relating to Montana State Fund
  • HB 513, Generally revise workers’ compensation laws relating to Montana State Fund
  • HB 514, Revise workers’ compensation laws relating to the Montana State Fund
  • HB 512, Revising property exempt from execution
  • HB 550, Establish presumption in workers’ compensation for COVID-19
  • SB 11, Increase minimum corporate income tax
  • SB 187, Increase minimum wage
  • SB 289, Revise employment application by eliminating reference to criminal record
  • SB 313, Provide for local option tax: MT tax Fairness and Rural Revenue Initiative
  • SB 322, Generally revise workers’ compensation laws related to Montana State Fund
Bills NFIB monitored that were TABLED/Defeated
  • HB 125, Provide exemption from income tax withholding
  • HB 149, Allow certain card transaction fees
  • HB 175, Generally revising consumer good repair laws
  • HB 251, Implement right-to-work
  • HB 372, Eliminate business equipment tax –  this bill was not vetted correctly and had a huge fiscal note, so we stayed out.
  • HB 415, Prohibit discrimination based on vaccination status
  • SB 132, Require accommodations to employer-mandated vaccinations to be uniformly offered

NFIB continues to monitor about 30 bills that could have minor effects on business. Many of these are not a clear positive/negative change, just a change. Therefore, we monitor them and report to our members any changes if they should pass. 

This week’s hearings
  • Tuesday, March 9
    • 9 a.m. Senate Tax Committee: HB 252 Non-refundable tax credit for employer-paid education of trade professions
  • Wednesday, March 10:
    • 8 a.m. House Tax Committee: SB 159 Personal Income Tax Relief Act; SB 182 Generally revise laws on state finance, reducing tax rate if conditions met – the trigger bill; SB 184  Montana Entrepreneur Magnet Act
    • 9 a.m. Senate Business and Labor Committee: HB 198 Revise Workers’ Compensation Death Benefit laws; HB 254 Revise wrongful discharge act  

Track bills at this link.

Previous Reports and Related News

 

 

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