January 25, 2017

Things are in full swing at the 2017 Montana Legislative Session with bills being introduced every day.  There are hearings almost every day that effect you and your clients in one way or another.  Your legislative committee continues meeting via conference call every week and  reviewing introduced bills and possible issues to come before the legislature. The committees insight and technical support is critical to your representation up on the “Hill” every day.  

Please remember that your Association continues to be very active representing you during the session.  However, the most important and affective representation of you and your agency/business, and clients is one-on-one contact from a grass roots basis with your legislator.   

Bill numbers below are linked to the detailed information page for each bill. View the current bill text by clicking on the links next to the Bill Draft Number. (Look for the pointing finger icon).   The bills that are most significant are in "bold" and the current status is in "red".

House Bills

HB 46 
Generally revising funding for civil legal aid. 
Hearing 1/24/17 (H) Appropriations

HB 56 
Revise motor carrier laws.
Tabled in (H) Federal Relations, Energy, and Telecommunications

HB 73 
Regulate certain air ambulance memberships as insurance.
Heard 1/10/17 (H) Business and Labor and remains in Committee

HB 120 
Revise insurance laws pertaining to NAIC accreditation.
Passed house as Amended and Heard 1/24/17 (S) Business and Labor

HB 123
Require certain insurance disclosures to minimize surprise bills.
Hearing not scheduled yet assigned to (H) Human Services

HB 137
Generally revise securities and insurance laws pertaining to the State Auditor. Hearing scheduled 1/26/17 in (H) Business and Labor; The Insurance Department Housekeeping Bill

HB 138
Revise licensing of general insurance agent laws.
Passed the House; Scheduled for hearing 1/26/17 in (S) Business and Labor; Insurance Department bill to clarify MGA language and appointments of producers by affiliation.  There will be amendments offered to make it less troublesome for .

HB 142
Revise insurance law to give mental health coverage parity with physical health.
Hearing not scheduled yet

HB 144
Generally revise motor vehicle laws.
Heard 1/23/17 in (H) Transportation

HB 145
Adopt NAIC model legislation regarding Annuities.
Hearing scheduled 1/31/17 in (H) Business and Labor;  Amendments are being proposed that we are reviewing

HB 160
Assign warranty responsibility to registered contractor for work under contract.
Tabled in (H) Business and Labor

HB 165
Revise punitive damage laws.
Bill amended in (H) Judiciary and passed to the floor

HB 194
Prohibit local restrictions on electronic devices while driving.

Heard and passed to the floor from (H) Judiciary

HB 216
Require bonding for wind development.
Referred to Committee -- (H) Energy, Technology, and Federal Relations

HB 222
Revise laws related to insurance and storm damage repairs.
Heard 1/17/17 (H) Business & Labor and remains in Committee

HB 229
Allowing worker to choose treating physician in workers'' compensation cases.
Scheduled for hearing 1/27/17 (H) Business & Labor

HB 238 
Revise penalties for noncompliance with vehicle liability insurance laws.
Tabled in (H) Business and Labor as Amended

HB 252
Clarify provider agreement laws. 
Referred to n(H) Business and Labor

HB 266
Authorize interstate healthcare compact.
Scheduled for Hearing 1/25/17 (H) Human Service

HB 291
Prohibit certain underwriting factors for private passenger insurance.
Referred to (H) Business and Labor. You need to read this one.

Senate Bills
SB 9 Provide for primary enforcement of seatbelt laws.
Scheduled for hearing on 1/12/17

Provide process to hold patients harmless from balance billing by air ambulance.
Heard in Senate B&L 1/13/17

Prohibit the use of $0 claims for insurance policy cancellation or renewal .
Tabled in Committee

Create presumptive illness for firefighters.
Heard in (S) Business & Labor 1/13/17

Volunteer Health Services Act providing some immunity.
Hearing scheduled in (S) Public Health, Welfare and Safety 1/16/17

Right to shop act for health care services.
Hearing scheduled in (S) Public Health, Welfare and Safety 1/16/17

Provide liability limits for emergency care by volunteer emergency responders.
Hearing scheduled in (S) Judiciary 1/20/17

Disallowing workers' compensation benefits for certain false statements.
Hearing Scheduled for (S) Business & Labor 1/25/17

Provide for uniform act regarding fiduciary access to digital assets, providing some immunity.
Referred to Committee -- (S) Judiciary

Require insurance coverage of teledentistry.
Scheduled for Hearing 1/25/17 in (S) Public Health, Welfare and Safety

SB 134  
Revise laws related to motorcycle operation.
Scheduled for Hearing in (S) Highways and Transportation 1/26/17

SB 142  
Revise laws related to volunteer emergency personnel and worker's comp insurance.
Referred to (S)  Local Government