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MEA-MFT's 2009 Priority bills

Apr. 29: Final status bill report:


The legislature adjourned today.


Below is our final bill status report for this session.


This list does not come close to including all the bills we worked for and against, but it does represent our priority interests, pro and con.


Also please note this list does NOT include the normal and stimulus funding bills (HBs 2, 645, and 676) that passed the legislature just today. More about these later.

Passed bills we supported

HB 13 (Hunter) - State employee pay plan
Biennial cost: $24m. Read more.
Status: Signed into law 3/11.


HB 152 (Hamilton) - Quality Schools Facility Grant Program
Biennial cost: $55m
Status: Waiting for governor's signature.


HB 459 (Grinde) - Montana Virtual High School
Biennial cost: $4m. Read more.
Status: Waiting for governor's signature.


HB 659 (Roberts) – interim study of Montana retirement systems
Status: Waiting for governor's signature.

Passed bills we opposed:

None . . . not ONE bill we opposed passed this session! This took a lot of hard work.


Dead bills we supported:

HB 15 (Villa) - 3% increase in basic and per pupil entitlements.


HB 83 (Dickenson) - TRS PRO - 2% formula for 30+ year members of TRS. Biennial cost: $7m


HB 87 (Dickenson) - Increase university faculty ORP employer contribution by 1% to 6.9%


HB 198 (Hamilton) - State contribution to school employee health care plans. Biennial cost: $36m


HB 305 (Calf Boss Ribs) – school district access to county retirement levy to pay retirement costs of federally funded employees.

HB 369 - (McClafferty) State Funding of Head Start
Read more.

HB 388 - (Van Dyk) Oil and gas tax for quality educator payments. Read more.
Read more about the fate of HB 388.


SB 69 (Branae) - Increase Quality Educator Payment to
$4,600 in FY 10 and $6,200 in FY 11.


SB 70 (Branae) - 3% increase in basic and per pupil entitlements, Quality Educator Payment, Indian Education for All, and Indian Achievement Gap.

SB 251 (Wanzenried) - Unemployment compensation for school classified employees


SB 266 (Cooney) - Authorize permissive school district levy to pay health insurance premiums.


Dead bills we opposed:

 HB 421 (Mendenhall) – So-called “clean government act.” HB 421 would have removed MEA-MFT and all other public employee labor groups from ballot issue battles and political candidate support.


HB 624 (More) public school tuition tax credits. HB 624 would have cost millions by providing tax credits for every parent or guardian of a child enrolled in "schools of choice" -- including home schools, private schools, religious schools, and public schools other than the one in which a student is a resident. It is unconstitutional. And now, it's dead.


HB 625 (Randall) -- “Right to work”


SB 67 (Laible) - legislative veto of Board ofPublic Education accreditation standards


SB 80 (McGee) - elect board of regents


SB 81 (McGee) - elect board of public education


SB 194 (McGee) - “right-to-work”


SB 253 (Steinbeisser) - minimum wage tip credit

SB 254 (Steinbeisser) - minimum wage eliminate inflation index


SB 279 (R. Brown) – beginning teacher signing bonuses


SB 339 (Hinkle) – “right to work”


SB 342 (Essman) – tuition tax credits/pay voucher for religious and private schools. Read more.


SB 484 (Balyeat) work until you drop. A reckless attack on public employee defined benefit pension programs. MEA-MFT took the lead in killing this reckless, hostile legislation. Read more


SB 496 (Peterson) transfer partial funding of university faculty optional retirement plan from the state to unrestricted subfund. SB 496 would reduce the state's contribution to the faculty optional retirement program for some faculty members.


SB 512 (Windy Boy) Tuition tax credits.