1. Legislation appropriating funds from the General Fund for thefollowing programs which were established through the good-faith efforts ofthe Fifty-Sixth Montana Legislature in House Bill 260: a.) Treasure State Endowment Program funded with $3,500,000; b.) Industrial Infrastructure Reimbursement funded with $600,000; c.) Board of Research and Commercialization funded with $6,600,000; d.) Cooperative Development Center funded with $65,000; e.) Growth Through Agriculture funded with $2,500,000 total: Department of Agriculture's Marketing and Business Assistance and Grants andLoans funded with $1,250,000; and Department of Commerce's BusinessRecruitment, Canadian/ Foreign Trade, Small Business Innovation Research andDevelopment Center, Certified Communities funded with $1,250,000; 2. Legislation for the purpose of clarifying the House Bill 555 bonding supporting aerospace, transportation and technology infrastructureprojects. 3. Confirmation of gubernatorial judicial appointees subject to theprovisions of Montana Code Annotated section 3-1-1013(1).
Tax Call: A petition signed by Legislators called a second special session to be concurrent with the special session called by the Governor. The call was limited to "legislation to reduce taxes".
Loan Call: A petition signed by Legislators called a third special session to be concurrent with the special session by the governor. The call was limited to "consider legislation to authorize the use of $50 million of coal severance tax permanent trust fund by the Board of Investments and participating local financial institutions for loans to finance new midsize businesses and enterprises."
Alternative Livestock License Moratorium Call: A petition signed by Legislators called a fourth special session to be concurrent with the special session by the governor. The call was limited to "legislation to impose a moratorium on new applications for new alternative livestock ranch licenses until such time as a live test for chronic wasting disease is developed and is approved by the Department of Livestock."
Open Pit Mining Reclamation Call: A petition signed by Legislators called a fifth special session to be concurrent with the special session by the governor. The call was limited to "clarify andrequire that economic feasibility and environmental soundness must be considered in developing and reviewing a reclamation plan and that backfilling of open pit mines is not required."
Oppose Missouri River Designation Call: A petition signed by Legislators called a sixth special session to be concurrent with the special session by the governor. The call was limited to "respectfully request the Secretary of the Interior, Mr. Bruce Babbitt, to set aside any new proposed designation and support the proven management practices that have maintained the pristine conditions of the Missouri River since first traversed by the Corp of Discovery in 1804."
Items were also added by sufficient votes on motions offered in the House and Senate. These are documented in Legislative Journals.
Session Funding. The special session was funded for 6 days and adjourned within 4 legislative days. Excess funds appropriated will be returned to the state general fund. Not all bills for the special session have arrived, but adding anticipated expenses for those costs together with actual expenditures, an estimated total cost for the special session is $202,708. This will allow a reversion of approximately $224,192 or more than half of the total appropriation. This reversion is possible because the legislature met for only four instead of the budgeted six days and did not conduct hearings before the session as extensive as were planned. Post session printing will also cost considerably less than what was budgeted. Those who cling to the notion that cost per legislative day means something will notice that a division shows a cost of over $50,000 a day for the special session. Had there been a fifth day, however, it would not have cost $50,000 as the marginal cost of additional days cannot be calculated that way. Actual final costs will be known by mid July.
Meetings.For standing committee meetings held during the special session use the LAWS system .
Montana Power Sale: The House Business and Labor Committee held an informational hearing on the Montana Power sale issue on Monday May 8. This issue was not formally a part of the special session_agenda.