This is what happened.
In January 2021, the Montana legislature went into session with the state government firmly in the hands of the majority party. Legislation was passed and signed into law that:
- Restricted voting access by ending same-day voter registration and requiring new voter ID requirements. These unfairly affect students and rural and indigenous peoples the most (HB176, SB169);
- Repealed or altered laws previously approved by voters, and made it harder for Montanans to write law through citizen initiatives (HB176, HB273 HB701 HB651);
- Undercut local control. County health officials now have less authority to protect you and your neighbors during the ongoing COVID pandemic (HB121, HB257, HB702). City governments no longer can establish inclusionary zoning – a way to assure affordable housing (HB259);
- Cut taxes for the rich, costing the state coffers $50 million per year, leaving the tax burden to fall on the working class (SB159, SB399);
- Limited women’s right-to-privacy and reproductive rights (HB136, HB140, HB167, HB171);
- Harmed LGBTQ youth (HB112 SB280);
- Added cumbersome bureaucracy to Medicaid, which will result in tens of thousands of Montanans being kicked off with no savings to the State (SB101);
- Gave Northwestern Energy a free pass to continue burning coal and gas with no repercussions if those business choices turn bad. Ratepayers will still be stuck with the bill (SB 379);
- Lowered water-quality standards (HB358);
- Removed protections for wolves and other wildlife (HB224).
What issues would YOU have liked to see the legislature address?
We’d like to see the legislature truly address local and state issues like:
The climate crisis
Do your own research
Visit these resources to learn more about what happened this session, explore issues that matter to you, and then contact your Gallatin Legislators about what you’d like to see happen the next time.
In their own words – updates from the Session
Every week during the 2021 Montana Legislature, Gallatin County Democratic Legislators gave you an update on what was going on. These were recorded and are available for you to watch on YouTube.