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1/17/2021 – Parks & Recreation Legislature Report

2021 Legislature Report – Parks & Recreation

TO: Parks and Recreation Friends Groups
FROM: Bob Walker, Montana Trails Coalition and Montana Trails, Recreation & Parks Association
DATE: January 17, 2021

Our 67th Session of the Montana Legislature convened January 4. We anticipate several bills affecting recreation and parks programs. We will keep you informed of those bills and their status as the session progresses. We are currently tracking 52 LCs for which there is no current language, most are very general in description, and many will never receive a bill number.

NOTE: SB means Senate bill, HB means House of Representatives bill, LC means a bill draft request has been submitted to Legislative Services.

RECREATION (Bills with Numbers or LCs with Language Available)

HB 2 (Representative Llew Jones): This bill covers requested appropriations for operations for all state government including Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) and State Parks. Included is the state Snowmobile Grant Program and equipment purchase.

HB 5 (Representative Llew Jones): Includes requested appropriations for capital projects for state government including FWP and state parks. Included are recreation and trail grant programs including Recreational Trails Program, Montana Trail Stewardship Grant Program, OHV Grant programs, Land & Water Conservation Fund.

SB 38 (Senator Gauthier): Would revise the Summer Motorized Grant Program to allow safety and ethics education grants, application review and recommendations from the state’s OHV Advisory Committee; rename the snowmobile trail pass to the winter trail pass and include dog sleds. Hearing in Senate Highways & Transportation Committee, 3:00 PM, January 21

LC 746 (Representative Loge): Would revise bicycle safety laws including the wearing of high visibility colors, ride on the right had half of the right lane, front and rear illuminated lamps.

LC 756 (Senator Webber): Joint resolution urging the National Park Service to include Sacagawea on signs for the Lewis & Clark Trail.

LC 773 (Representative Loge): Would establish and require a $20 per biennium summer recreational trail pass for bicycles on public highways, shared use paths and other trails.

LC 1760 (Representative Gunderson): Would generally revise laws related to E-bikes. There is no draft available at this time!

PARKS (Bill with Number and Language Available)

HB 2 and HB 5: See comments under Recreation.

HB 102 (Representative Berglee): Would revise current gun laws and concealed carry locations. Some parks and recreation districts/agencies/communities/universities currently have special ordinances/rules that control the carry of firearms. Passed the House January 14, vote 63 – 31.

SB 77 (Senator McGilvray): Would revise special districts finance including parks and trail districts, transportation districts, safety districts to make it easier for a district to be dissolved but creating problems for long term funding, assessments, bonding. First hearing held January 15.

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