Dear WFM advocates,


Today marks the 20th day of the 68th Montana State Legislature. Lawmakers have been hard at work, proposing legislation, hearing from Montanans about the potential impact on communities, and voting on policies ranging from childcare access to housing and healthcare. WFM knows that our state is best served when Montanans make their voice heard in the legislature.


The Women’s Foundation of Montana (WFM) is in Helena this year, working alongside our grantees to advance policies that support Montana women and their families. WFM selects bill priorities that align with WFM grantee legislative priorities and promote issues that further WFM’s mission of advancing women’s economic security and creating a brighter future for girls.


Our levels of engagement on bills range from monitoring to lobbying and are determined by the availability of resources, the need for support, and alignment with WFM’s policy priorities. WFM has pinpointed three areas for the 2022 legislative session. 

  1. Care Economy: Women are often the primary caregivers for both children and aging relatives. WFM aims to support a robust care economy that will enable women’s workforce participation while creating a better gender balance in unpaid care.
  2. Tax Fairness: WFM aims to support an equitable tax system, tax relief for working families, and sufficient revenue to support programs that create economic security for women and their families.
  3. Women’s health and basic needs: In Montana, women experience higher poverty rates than men. WFM aims to support measures that increase women's access to basic needs. WFM will work to ensure that women statewide have access to the full range of reproductive health information and care as an essential component of primary health care

We invite you to join us in advocating for policy change that benefits women and their families. Follow WFM grantees and stay tuned for monthly updates from WFM during the session.




To find out who your legislators are, click here and enter your address.

Childcare: House Bill 238 improves the Best Beginnings Childcare Scholarship. The bill would lower families’ childcare costs and expand availability, making childcare more affordable and accessible for Montana families. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (406) 444-48000 and leave a message for the House Human Services Committee. Ask them to SUPPORT HB 238.

WFM Advisory Committee Member, Ashlie Wise, provided this testimony in support of HB 238:

"As a current recipient of the Best Beginnings Scholarship, I support House Bill 238. At this time, there is an immense need for affordable childcare across the state. As housing prices continue to climb in every district, it’s vital that we work to maintain affordable care costs for our families. The way previously written legislation orchestrates this program is not affordable and does not support Montana families. Currently, the copayment factor for the average family on Best Beginnings is between 20-25% of the household monthly income. Creating a cap at 7% of household income, as stated in this bill, supports maintaining and sustaining affordability for Montanans where we can."

Housing: Senate Bill 15, carried by Sen. Shannon O'Brien, would provide property tax relief to Montana families (including homeowners and renters) living on low and moderate incomes. It is a long-term solution that can help families struggling with housing costs get back on track. Call the Capitol switchboard today at (406) 406-444-4800 to leave a message for your Senator and urge them to vote YES on SB 15.

Healthcare: Senate Bill 99, carried by Sen. John Fuller, would ban gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth, care that medical experts agree can be lifesaving. Senate Bill 99 would also prohibit public employees like teachers and school counselors from supporting a minor’s social transition. Ask your legislators to focus on the investments in access to livable wages, affordable childcare, health care, equal pay, education, and job training instead of focusing on bills that serve to discriminate against transgender youth and create barriers to their healthcare. Call the Capitol switchboard today at (406) 406-444-4800 to leave a message for your Senator and urge them to vote NO on SB 99.

SB 99 will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee today, Friday, January 27th, at 8 AM in Room 303. You can listen/watch the hearing here.


We’ll keep you informed of progress on the following policies and how you can advocate on behalf of your community.

Paid Sick Leave: The Healthy Families and Workplaces Act has been drafted and is waiting to be introduced. When workers have access to paid leave, they can take the time they need to care for themselves and their family members while still receiving a portion of their paycheck.

Tax Relief: HB 285, carried by Rep. Emma Kerr-Carpenter, would increase the Montana Earned Income Tax Credit to 60% of the federal credit and adjust for inflation. The EITC helps working families achieve stability. Montana has the smallest EITC in the country, at only 3% of the federal credit. HB 285 is awaiting a scheduled hearing in the House Taxation Committee.

Reproductive Health: WFM will work to protect access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare. We will work alongside our grantees to defend against attempts to restrict access to reproductive healthcare.

Acting together to build resources and create an economy that works for women.

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