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We are back at it in Helena (virtually on our end). Get this, there are only three bills left that we are tracking that do not have their final rounds of hearings scheduled. That means the end of the rush is in site, it also means that the next two weeks will be very busy. 

Our bill tracker is all up to date. Please go online to see the status of the bills we are tracking and our position statements. 

Here are the hearings we are managing at this moment.

SB 161 – Allow subdivisions to qualify for an expedited review: SUPPORT

The hearing was yesterday. We were involved with drafting the bill. There is a long story behind this thing, and I look forward to telling you all about it at the MAP Conference in September. In many ways, this bill saved our bacon this session. We hope it becomes law. 

SB 174 – Revise laws related to local subdivision review: OPPOSE

The hearing is tomorrow. This bill changes how local governments can use conditions of approval on subdivisions. It has been amended, but even with the amendments it is deeply flawed. In a typical session, this bill would have been a five alarm fire, but the reality is there were many bills that were far worse than this. Those have been tabled, now this is in our top priorities.

SB 211 – Revise local subdivision review criteria regarding agriculture: OPPOSE

The hearing is tomorrow. This bill was proposed to address how one county addresses impacts to agriculture. We will almost never support bills that are directed at one jurisdictions approach. Not much else to report. This bill will almost certainly become law.  

SB 231 – Revise exempt well laws related to family transfer parcels: OPPOSE

The hearing is on Friday. This was heavily amended in the Senate and now has nothing to do with exempt wells. But…it does some really strange stuff with how zoning applies to family transfers. It will certainly result in more people trying to use family transfers to evade subdivision review. 

HB 259 – Revise property and zoning laws: OPPOSE

The hearing is on Friday. This is the bill that would outlaw inclusionary zoning. This will almost certainly become law.  

That is it for this week. Next week we have HB 599, SB 294, HB 498, and a few more will almost certainly be scheduled.