There are also several state bills that you should consider sending a message about:
- Protect Access to SNAP Benefits – Hearing on Monday!
- Extend non-discrimination laws regarding gender and sexual identity
- Defend the Office of Political Practices
*ACTION ALERT* Protect Access to SNAP Benefits – Hearing on Monday!
Recommended by Missoula Rises, Democratic Process and Legislative Watch (DPLW), Subgroup
HB 361 would make it harder for Montanans to receive benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). It lowers the Gross Income Test from 200% of poverty to only 130%, making it harder for working families to maintain eligibility even if they’re struggling with child care, housing, or other costs. It also creates a resource limit of $5000, which discourages families from saving even modest amounts of money and creates administrative burdens. (Link to full bill: http://leg.mt.gov/bills/2017/billhtml/HB0361.htm)
The House Human Services Committee will hold a hearing on this bill on Monday at 3:00, so we need to act fast to make sure this bill does not make it out of committee.
ACTION – Send a message to the House Human Services Committee members using this form: http://leg.mt.gov/css/sessions/65th/legwebmessage.asp
- Enter personal information
* Select “Committee,” then “House Human Services”
* In “Select Bill Type* click on HB and in “Number of the Bill” enter 361
* Click “Against”
* Enter your message and hit submit! Your input will be printed out and delivered to each of the committee members.
* If Ellie Hill Smith is your representative, also consider sending her an individual message – she’s on this committee! The only difference in the above process is to select “Legislator” instead of “Committee” and then “Hill Smith, Ellie”.
If you’re not sure what to say, here’s a sample script:
I urge you to oppose HB 361, which restricts SNAP eligibility. SNAP helps 57,000 Montana households feed their families as the cost of living continues to rise while wages remain low. Existing income guidelines effectively target the program and restricting access will increase the problem of hunger in our state. The proposed resource limit would also hurt working families and seniors with modest resources while preventing them from getting back on their feet. Please oppose these cuts to SNAP by voting against HB 361.
ACTION ITEM: SUPPORT HB 417
– Recommended by Missoula Rises, Democratic Process and Legislative Watch, Subgroup
– HB 417: Revising non-discrimination laws regarding gender and sexual identity. House Judiciary Committee Hearing will be on Feb 15 at 8 AM, first reading was on Feb 8.
– GOAL: Encourage committee members to SUPPORT
– ACTION: Send a message to all of the House Judiciary Committee members. Contact Committee members by following this link,
– http://leg.mt.gov/css/default.asp Click on “Send a Message to Legislatures”. Select “committee,” then “House Judiciary”
Recommended Script: “My name is (insert name), and I am messaging on behalf of HB 417. HB 417 would allow LGBTQ Montanans to work in our state and only be judged by their performance. Adding sexual orientation and gender identity or expression to the Montana Human Rights Act will ensure that everyone will have the same access to legal protections at the workplace, in housing, and in public accommodations. Please vote yes on HB 417. .” your message will be printed out and set on the desk of all of the committee members.
We would also encourage members of the LGBTQ community who have experienced discrimination to personalize the message. Legislators should hear about your struggles.
– WHY IT IS IMPORTANT: We want to support the movement of the bill to the floor for debate and vote. It is thought that the bill may not get enough support to pass this year, but we feel strongly that this bill should see the House floor. And if it does not pass this year it will pave the way for future efforts.
– READ MORE:
****ACTION ITEM***Defend the Office of Political Practices
Recommended by the DPLW subgroup
– HB 340, Eliminate the Office of Political Practices
– ACTION DATES:
This passed the House, has been transmitted to Senate. No hearing date set yet. Would be good to contact your senator now, be prepared to contact the Senate Judicial Committee when hearing date is set, and then contact your senator again if it goes to the floor for a vote.
– GOAL: Oppose.
Notify your senator that you are aware that this bill has been transmitted to the Senate from the House, and you oppose it.
– WHY IS IT IMPORTANT:
Why would we want to get rid of a nonpartisan office that regulates and enforces the state’s ethics, lobbying and campaign laws?
– READ MORE: