Senate Joint Resolution No. 6
Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________
A Joint Resolution of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the state of Montana to study the possibility of a Rocky Mountain States regional presidential primary and related issues; directing the Legislative Council to provide sufficient resources for a delegation to a task force meeting; and requiring a report of the findings of the study to the 56th Legislature.
WHEREAS, in 1996, 70% of the delegates to the presidential nominating conventions were chosen and the nomination secured before most of the western states held presidential primaries; and
WHEREAS, a study at Colorado College by Robert D. Loevy listed only Arizona and Colorado as western states that were "relevant" to the presidential primary selection process; and
WHEREAS, in 1996, the West, including California, had 25 campaign visits for a total of 12 days compared to New Hampshire and Iowa that had 128 visits for a total of 41 days; and
WHEREAS, the current primary process is relatively recent in our nation's history, existing since 1972, and prior to the creation of "Super Tuesday", there have been many historic attempts at developing regional primaries; and
WHEREAS, a proposal is being forwarded by the Council of State Governments West and the Western Governors' Association for a coordinated candidate forum and state-optional Rocky Mountain Presidential Primary.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
That an appropriate interim committee be assigned to study:
(1) the possibility of participating in one or more coordinated regional presidential primaries with other western states, including the potential of all-mail balloting;
(2) the possibility of participating in a coordinated electronic or satellite candidate forum with other western states;
(3) the costs, benefits, and statutory or other changes necessary to participate in a regional presidential primary or candidate forum; and
(4) options to increase the impact of western states on the presidential primary process and to bring increased attention to the concerns of citizens who live in the Rocky Mountain states.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that it is the intention of the Legislature that the Legislative Council provide sufficient resources for the interim committee to send a subcommittee of four members to act as a delegation to a Rocky Mountain Presidential Preference Primary Task Force meeting.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the interim committee report the findings of the study and any findings of the Task Force to the 56th Legislature and present options for legislative consideration if the interim committee determines that options are necessary.