Legislature

The 64th Montana Legislature at the State Capitol in January 2015.

Thom Bridge, Independent Record

HELENA – Legislative committees will be hearing a wide variety of bills this week ranging from abolishing the death penalty to allowing terminally ill people to request medicine to end their lives.

Here are some of the highlights:

APPRENTICESHIP TAX CREDIT: On Wednesday, the House Taxation Committee considers House Bill 277, by Rep. Christy Clark, R-Choteau, to establish a tax credit against individual or corporate income tax for employers who have apprentices in programs certified by the state. The hearing is at 9 a.m. in Room 152.

CYBERBULLYING: On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee will consider HB317, by Rep. Ellie Hill, D-Missoula, to create the crime of cyber bullying. It is at 8 a.m. in Room 137.

DEATH PENALTY: The House Judiciary Committee on Friday will consider HB370, by Rep. David “Doc” Moore, R-Missoula, to abolish the death penalty and replace it with imprisonment without the possibility of parole. It’s in Room 137 at 8 a.m.

GUNS ON SCHOOLYARD: The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday will take testimony on HB320, by Rep. Carl Glimm, R-Kila, to make it expulsion discretionary for a student bringing or possessing a firearm at school. It is at 8 a.m. in Room 137.

HIGHER EDUCATION: On Wednesday, the House Taxation Committee considers HB341, by Rep. Bill Harris, R-Winnett, to allow employers to take tax credits against individual or corporate income taxes for 25 percent of payments made for employees’ higher education expenses or student loan repayments. It is in Room 152 at 9 a.m.

LOSER PAYS: The House Judiciary Committee will take testimony on Tuesday on HB369, by Clayton Fiscus, R-Billings, to require the losing party to pay for litigation costs in certain lawsuits. It’s at 8 a.m. in Room 137.

PAY PLAN: On Friday, the House Appropriations Committee takes up HB13, by Rep. Kathy Swanson, D-Anaconda, to raise state employees’ pay by 50 cents an hour in each of the next two years. It is in Room 102 at 3 p.m.

RIGHT TO DIE: On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee takes comments on SB202, by Rep. Dick Barrett, D-Missoula, to allow terminally ill patients to request medication to end his/her life and establishing a right to rescind the request. It is at 8 a.m. in Room 303.

SENTENCING COMMISSION: On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear SB224, by Sen. Cynthia Wolken, D-Missoula, to create a two-year commission to study the impact of certain criminal sentencing policies and practices. It is at 9 a.m. in Room 224.

SPEED LIMITS: On Tuesday, the Senate Highways and Transportation Committee will hear SB228, by Sen. Jonathan Windy Boy, D-Box Elder, to raise the daytime speed limit on federal interstate highways to 85 mph from the current 75 mph and to raise the speed limit to 80 mph from the current 70 mph on other public highways. It’s at 3 p.m. in Room 405.

SUICIDE PREVENTION: The House Education Committee on Friday hears testimony on HB374, by Rep. Edie McClafferty, D-Butte, to require school district employees to take a course in suicide awareness and prevention. The hearing is in Room 137 at 3 p.m.

SUNSETTING PROPERTY TAX LEVIES: The House Taxation Committee on Tuesday hears HB368, by Rep. Greg Hertz, R-Polson, to eliminate all permanent voted mill levies after six years, but not bond levies. It is at 9 a.m. in Room 152.

TEXTING, CELLPHONES BY DRIVERS: On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee takes comments on HB297, by Rep, Virginia Court, D-Billings, to prohibit drivers of vehicles from texting or using cellphones while driving. It is at 9 a.m. in Room 137.

VIRGINIA, NEVADA CITIES: The House Transportation Committee on Wednesday will hear HB341, by Court to raise certain motor vehicle registration fees and use the increase to pay some of the operating costs of Virginia and Nevada cities. It is at 3 p.m. in Room 455.

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