HOUSE BILL NO. 21
INTRODUCED BY R. PEPPERS, DUDIK
BY REQUEST OF THE STATE-TRIBAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE
AN ACT ESTABLISHING "HANNA'S ACT"; AUTHORIZING THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO ASSIST WITH THE INVESTIGATION OF ALL MISSING PERSONS CASES; REQUIRING THE EMPLOYMENT OF A MISSING PERSONS SPECIALIST; PROVIDING DUTIES; PROVIDING DIRECTION ON FUNDING FOR POSITION; PROVIDING LEGISLATIVE INTENT; PROVIDING SPENDING AUTHORIZATION; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
WHEREAS, this act is to be known as "Hanna's Act" in remembrance of Hanna Harris, a Lame Deer woman who was murdered in 2013 on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Department of justice missing persons response -- missing persons specialist. (1) The department of justice may assist with the investigation of all missing persons cases, regardless of the age of the missing person, in accordance with Title 44, chapter 2, parts 4 and 5.
(2) (a) The department shall employ a missing persons specialist responsible for working closely with local, state, federal, and tribal law enforcement authorities on missing persons cases. The specialist shall:
(i) provide guidance and support to law enforcement authorities and families in the search for missing persons;
(ii) oversee entries into the database of the national crime information center of the United States department of justice and other databases to ensure records of missing persons are accurate, complete, and made in a timely fashion;
(iii) manage the state missing persons database and missing persons public information website;
(iv) network with other state and international missing persons programs and the national center for missing and exploited children to aid in locating children who are unlawfully taken out of or unlawfully brought into Montana;
(v) provide public outreach and education on missing persons issues and the prevention of child abductions;
(vi) issue alerts and advisories at the request of law enforcement authorities to activate public assistance in locating an endangered missing person; and
(vii) facilitate training for law enforcement authorities related to missing persons cases, including resources available to assist with missing persons investigations.
(b) The missing persons specialist shall complete cultural competency training.
Section 2. Authorization -- legislative intent. (1) For the biennium beginning July 1, 2019, the department of justice is authorized to spend $205,000 from the state special revenue account established in 44-5-306 to fund the personal services of 1 FTE to perform the services required by [this act].
(2) The legislature intends that the appropriation in this section be considered a part of the ongoing base for the 2021 legislative session.
Section 3. Notification to tribal governments. The secretary of state shall send a copy of [this act] to each tribal government located on the seven Montana reservations and to the Little Shell Chippewa tribe.
Section 4. Codification instruction. [Section 1] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 44, chapter 2, part 4, and the provisions of Title 44, chapter 2, part 4, apply to [section 1].
Section 5. Coordination instruction. If Senate Bill No. 312 is not passed and approved, [this act] is void.
Section 6. Effective date. [This act] is effective July 1, 2019.
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Prepared by Montana Legislative Services