House Bill No. 413

Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________

A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act establishing a hunting and fishing law violator education pilot program for individuals whose hunting or fishing licenses have been suspended or revoked; allowing the department of fish, wildlife, and parks to make rules governing administration of the pilot program; requiring that a course be completed before a license may be reissued; allowing the department to approve and certify private entities to conduct the course; requiring the department to evaluate the program's effectiveness and report its findings to the 1999 legislature; and providing effective dates and a termination date."


A statement of intent is required for this bill because it grants rulemaking authority to the department of fish, wildlife, and parks to implement rules to establish and test an education pilot program for hunting and fishing law violators. The legislature intends that the department:

(1) develop curriculum standards and a means of certifying the schools that will conduct a course under the administration of the department; and

(2) develop an effective way to track violators who are sentenced to complete the course.

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

NEW SECTION. Section 1.  Ethics education pilot program -- rulemaking -- sentencing. (1) The department shall:

(a) develop and implement rules to establish and administer an education pilot program for hunting and fishing law violators whose offenses have resulted in suspension or revocation of their licenses;

(b) administer the pilot program and either conduct the course with its own resources or designate private entities to develop the course curriculum and conduct the course;

(c) establish certification requirements for the private entities;

(d) ensure that any courses conducted pursuant to [this section] are not part of or taught in conjunction with the safety education courses conducted pursuant to 87-2-105; and

(e) evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot program and report its findings and recommendations to the 1999 legislature.

(2) Upon notification by the department that the education course is developed and operational, a court shall require as part of a sentence to suspend or revoke a violator's license:

(a) completion of the course before any of the violator's license privileges may be reinstated;

(b) the posting of a bond to ensure the violator participates in the course; and

(c) payment of a reasonable fee by the offender to cover the cost of attending the course.

(3) If the person whose hunting or fishing license is suspended or revoked is not a resident of the state of Montana, the sentencing court shall require the person to complete a similar ethics education course in that person's state of residence. If a similar course does not exist in the violator's state of residence, the person shall complete Montana's course before any Montana hunting or fishing license may be reissued.

(4) This section does not intend to allow for reissuance of any licenses to a person whose hunting or fishing privileges have been revoked for life.

NEW SECTION. Section 2.  Codification instruction. [Section 1] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 87, chapter 1, part 1, and the provisions of Title 87, chapter 1, part 1, apply to [section 1].

NEW SECTION. Section 3.  Effective dates. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), [this act] is effective October 1, 1997.

(2) [Section 1(1) and this section] are effective on passage and approval.

NEW SECTION. Section 4.  Termination. [This act] terminates October 1, 2001.