Legislative Update – February 21

February 21, 2023 / Comments Off on Legislative Update – February 21

Blog Policy News

The next two weeks will be busy as we approach transmittal, which is March 4 to March 8. As you review the bills we’re watching and, perhaps more signifiant, the bills that haven’t been introduced yet, you can see we’ll have a lot going on. We are grateful for your response to the two Calls to Action we’ve put out so far. We think there will be more, and appreciate your engagement. You are making a difference. 

We’re also very proud that HB 391, the bill to assess user fees on exempt property, was tabled last week – due in part to the overwhelming response of MNA members like you. THANK YOU!

Bill Watch

Hunter & Angler Community Fund

MNA supported HB383, a bill to establish a Hunter and Angler Community Fund as a way for hunters and anglers to give back to rural communities. The bill passed out of committee and is headed for the House Floor. However, in response to an opponent’s concern, the bill was amended to stipulate “grant funds may not be awarded to an entity that has filed a lawsuit regarding any legal matter in a court of law in the state. If an entity files a lawsuit regarding any legal matter in a court of law in the state after receiving grant funds pursuant to this section, all grant funds previously awarded must be returned.” We spoke with the bill sponsor regarding our concerns about this amendment and will monitor as the bill moves forward. 

Local User Fee on Exempt Property

HB391, a bill to assess a user fee on exempt property, was tabled in committee. MNA opposed the bill, as did many of our members. Thank you to those who responded to MNA’s call to action on this bill; your comments made a difference. We believe there will be additional bills this Session which try to accomplish a similar outcome. We’ll keep you posted. This is great news for nonprofits!

Revise reporting requirements for nonprofits and charitable trusts

SB307, a bill that to “revise reporting requirements for nonprofits and charitable trusts” was heard last week. The bill is confusing. It appears to be a bill aimed at donor privacy. However, the language of the bill also opens the door for decreased donor transparency. MNA opposed on this basis. It seems the bill will be amended, so we are now monitoring. You can watch the hearing here to see what issues arose.

Establish the Montana Individual Freedom Act

SB222 is a bill that stipulates certain types of training not be required as a condition of employment. The bill is focused on what many of us would call diversity, equity and inclusion training. MNA took a monitoring stance because the bill was directed not only toward state employees, but also toward employees of organizations that hold state contracts. After the Department of Administration opposed the inclusion of contractor organizations, the bill was amended and nonprofits were taken out of the mix.  MNA will monitor as the bill moves forward to ensure the language doesn’t change.

Increase and Extend Termination Date of Montana Charitable Endowment Tax Credit

LC2565 proposes to double the Montana Charitable Endowment Tax Credit and extend the termination date to 2030. We are awaiting language and MNA will support the bill which is anticipated to be heard after transmittal.

Not-yet-introduced bills we’re monitoring

MNA is watching these un-introduced bills and will keep you updated. 

LC1820Daniel ZolnikovRRevise NP hospitals tax-exempt status laws
LC1821Daniel ZolnikovRRevise NP hospital community benefit spending laws
LC4171Jeremy TrebasRRevoke NP hospital property tax exemption
LC1381Ross H FitzgeraldRGenerally revise land ownership tax breaks for certain NPs
LC1533Mark NolandRRevise lobbying laws
LC3719Pat FlowersDRevise lobbying laws
LC1875Amy RegierRRevise laws related to NP organizations
LC3361Matt RegierRRevise laws for NP organizations
LC4024Bill MercerRGenerally revise laws pertaining to NP organizations
LC3187Steve GistRGenerally revise laws regarding NP governmental agencies
LC2214Daniel EmrichREstablish the NP and Charitable Organization Freedom Act
LC3382Jeffrey W WelbornRRevise gaming laws for NP and member organizations
LC4036Ron MarshallRRevise NP eligibility status laws
LC0337Greg HertzRGenerally revise laws related to conversion from NP to for profit
LC4292Jane GilletteRestablish and make public a hospital community benefit dashboard
LC4293Jane GilletteRestablish governance requirements for NP hospitals
LC4509Derek J HarveyDRevise tax laws for nonprofit healthcare facilities
LC2565Steve FitzpatrickRIncrease and extend termination of Montana charitable endowment tax credit
LC0812Shannon O’BrienDProvide for the best beginnings scholarship program

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