The deadline for moving bills from the Montana House to the Senate and vice versa, called ‘transmittal', is rapidly approaching and state legislators are moving bills through the process as quickly as possible.

Kyle Schmauch, Communications Director for the Senate Majority at the Montana Legislature has details.

“The transmittal date is the deadline in every legislative session when bills that are not revenue bills, so bills that are not dealing with money, must pass to the next house,” said Schmauch. “They have to clear the chamber they were introduced in by the deadline this week, so that means House bills they've got to be voted out of the House. If they're Senate bills, they must be voted out of the Senate. If they don't make it through the chamber they originated in this week than they are dead for the legislative session.”

Schmauch said transmittal is about more than just clearing bills, but a few welcome days off from the pressure of the Legislature.

“There's always a lot of activity right before transmittal break,” he said. “We've heard hundreds of bills already this session and everyone's trying to make sure if they've got any bills that they did receive a hearing and a vote this week before the Legislature leaves town for a few days. Over those few days, legislators typically get to go home, spend some time with their families and talk to their constituents.”

Schmauch said due to COVID limitations there are still hundreds of bills, but fewer than in previous sessions.

“This year 621 house bills have been introduced so far this session, and that compares to 806 House bills in 2005 and 639 in 2013, when we had a change in administration of new governors during those sessions,” he said. “The Senate obviously has half as many members as the House so we have fewer Senate bills. This session we've seen 373 Senate bills, and that's compared to 526 in 2005 and 410 in 2013.”

Get more details on the Montana Legislature by clicking here.


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