House Bill No. 101

Introduced By bergsagel

By Request of the Department of Corrections

A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act Increasing the Aggregate Value of a Construction Project That May be Performed by Inmate Labor From $25,000 to $200,000 for each Project; amending section 53-1-301, MCA; and providing an immediate effective date and an applicability date."

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:

Section 1.  Section 53-1-301, MCA, is amended to read:

"53-1-301.   Permitted institutional industries, powers of departments, and incentive pay to inmates. (1) Except as provided in subsection (4), the department of corrections or the department of public health and human services may:

(a)  establish industries in institutions that will result in the production or manufacture of products and the rendering of services as may be needed by any department or agency of the state or any political subdivision of the state, by any agency of the federal government, by any other states or their political subdivisions, or by nonprofit organizations and that will assist in the rehabilitation of residents in institutions;

(b)  obtain federal certification of specific prison industries programs in order to gain access to interstate markets for prison industries products;

(c)  contract with private industry for the sale of goods or components manufactured or produced in shops under its jurisdiction and for the employment of inmates in federally certified prison industries programs;

(d)  print catalogs describing goods manufactured or produced by institutions and distribute the catalogs;

(e)  fix the sale price for goods produced or manufactured at institutions. Prices may not exceed prices existing in the open market for goods of comparable quality.

(f)  require institutions to purchase needed goods from other institutions;

(g)  provide for the repair and maintenance of property and equipment of institutions by residents of institutions;

(h)  provide for construction projects, up to the aggregate sum of $25,000 $200,000 per for each project, performed by residents of institutions, except when the construction work is covered by a collective bargaining agreement;

(i)  provide for the repair and maintenance at an institution of furniture and equipment of any state agency;

(j)  provide for the manufacture at an institution of motor vehicle license plates and other related articles;

(k)  sell manufactured or agricultural products and livestock on the open market;

(l)  provide for the manufacture at an institution of highway, road, and street marking signs for the use of the state or any of its political subdivisions, except when the manufacture of the signs is in violation of a collective bargaining contract;

(m)  pay an inmate or resident of an institution from receipts from the sale of products produced or manufactured or services rendered in a program in which the inmate or resident is working;

(n)  collect 15% of the net wages paid to an inmate employed in a federally certified prison industries program for deposit in the Montana crime victims compensation and assistance account established under 53-9-109; and

(o)  collect from an inmate employed in a federally certified prison industries program charges for room and board consistent with charges established by the director for inmates assigned to prerelease centers.

(2)  (a) Except as provided for in subsection (2)(b), payment for the performance of work may be based on the following criteria:

(i)  knowledge and skill;

(ii) attitude toward authority;

(iii) physical effort;

(iv) responsibility for equipment and materials; and

(v)  regard for safety of others.

(b)  The maximum rate of pay must be determined by the appropriation established for each program, except that an inmate employed in a federally certified prison industries program must be paid at a rate not less than the rate paid for similar work in the locality where the inmate performs the work.

(3)  Premiums for workers' compensation and occupational disease coverage must be paid by the prison industries program or by the department of corrections. If the department of corrections pays the premium, reimbursement for premium payments for workers' compensation and occupational disease coverage must be made to the department of corrections by the private company contracting with the federally certified prison industries program for services and products.

(4)  Except as provided in subsection (5), furniture made in the prison may be purchased by state agencies in accordance with the procurement provisions under Title 18, chapter 4. All other prison-made furniture may be sold only through licensed wholesale or retail furniture outlets or through export firms for sale to international markets.

(5)  Any state institution, facility, or program operated by the department of corrections may purchase prison-made furniture without complying with the procurement provisions under Title 18, chapter 4."

NEW SECTION. Section 2.  Effective date -- applicability. [This act] is effective on passage and approval and applies to contracts for construction projects entered into on or after [the effective date of this act].