2009 Montana Legislature
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SENATE BILL NO. 22
INTRODUCED BY T. MURPHY
BY REQUEST OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY COUNCIL AND THE WATER POLICY COMMITTEE
AN ACT CREATING THE WATER POLICY COMMITTEE; ALLOWING THE WATER POLICY COMMITTEE TO STUDY ANY ISSUE RELATED TO WATER POLICY; MODIFYING THE STATUTORY PROVISIONS REQUIRING THE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY COUNCIL TO STUDY WATER POLICY ISSUES; REQUIRING THE WATER POLICY COMMITTEE TO COORDINATE WITH THE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY COUNCIL AND ANY OTHER COMMITTEE TO AVOID DUPLICATION OF EFFORTS; AMENDING SECTIONS 5-5-202 AND 85-2-105, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Water policy committee. (1) There is a water policy committee. Except as provided in subsection (2), the committee is treated as an interim committee for the purposes of 5-5-211 through 5-5-214. The committee shall:
(a) determine which water policy issues it examines;
(b) conduct interim studies as assigned pursuant to 5-5-217;
(c) subject to the provisions of 5-5-202(4), coordinate with the environmental quality council and other interim committees to avoid duplication of efforts; and
(d) report its activities, findings, recommendations, and any proposed legislation as provided in 5-11-210.
(2) At least two members of the committee must possess experience in agriculture.
Section 2. Section 5-5-202, MCA, is amended to read:
"5-5-202. Interim committees. (1) During an interim when the legislature is not in session, the committees listed in subsection (2) are the interim committees of the legislature. They are empowered to sit as committees and may act in their respective areas of responsibility. The functions of the legislative council, legislative audit committee, legislative finance committee, environmental quality council, water policy committee, and state-tribal relations committee are provided for in the statutes governing those committees.
(2) The following are the interim committees of the legislature:
(a) economic affairs committee;
(b) education and local government committee;
(c) children, families, health, and human services committee;
(d) law and justice committee;
(e) energy and telecommunications committee;
(f) revenue and transportation committee; and
(g) state administration and veterans' affairs committee.
(3) An interim committee or the environmental quality council may refer an issue to another committee that the referring committee determines to be more appropriate for the consideration of the issue. Upon the acceptance of the referred issue, the accepting committee shall consider the issue as if the issue were originally within its jurisdiction. If the committee that is referred an issue declines to accept the issue, the original committee retains jurisdiction.
(4) If there is a dispute between committees as to which committee has proper jurisdiction over a subject, the legislative council shall determine the most appropriate committee and assign the subject to that committee."
Section 3. Section 85-2-105, MCA, is amended to read:
"85-2-105. Environmental quality council -- water policy duties. (1) The environmental quality council shall meet as often as necessary, including during the interim between sessions, to perform the duties specified within this section.
(2) On a continuing basis, the environmental quality council shall may:
(a) advise the legislature on the adequacy of the state's water policy and on important state, regional, national, and international developments that affect Montana's water resources;
(b) oversee the policies and activities of the department, other state executive agencies, and other state institutions as those policies and activities affect the water resources of the state;
(c) assist with interagency coordination related to Montana's water resources; and
(d) communicate with the public on matters of water policy as well as the water resources of the state.
(3) On a regular basis, the environmental quality council shall:
(a) analyze and comment on the state water plan required by 85-1-203, when filed by the department;
(b) analyze and comment on the report of the status of the state's renewable resource grant and loan program required by 85-1-621, when filed by the department;
(c) analyze and comment on water-related research undertaken by any state agency, institution, college, or university;
(d) analyze, verify, and comment on the adequacy of and information contained in the water information system maintained by the natural resource information system under 90-15-305; and
(e) report to the legislature as provided in 5-11-210.
(4) The legislative services division shall provide staff assistance to the environmental quality council to carry out its water policy duties."
Section 4. Codification instruction. [Section 1] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 5, chapter 5, part 2, and the provisions of Title 5, chapter 5, part 2, apply to [section 1].
Section 5. Effective date. [This act] is effective July 1, 2009.
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Version of SB 22 (SB0022.ENR)
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