HOUSE BILL NO. 23
INTRODUCED BY R. LYNCH
BY REQUEST OF THE LAW AND JUSTICE INTERIM COMMITTEE
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT CREATING A NOMINATION PROCESS TO FILL VACANCIES ON THE BOARD OF PARDONS AND PAROLE; AMENDING SECTION 2-15-2305, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN APPLICABILITY DATE."
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
NEW SECTION. Section 1. Nomination process for board of pardons and parole. (1) If, for any reason, a vacancy occurs on the board of pardons and parole, including a vacancy caused by a resignation or the expiration of a member's term, a four-member nomination committee composed of the speaker of the house, the president of the senate, and the minority leaders of both houses of the legislature shall submit to the governor a list of not less than two and not more than five names of individuals for each vacant position for the governor's consideration. A majority of the members of the nomination committee shall agree on each nomination.
(2) The governor shall appoint a board member from the list of nominees submitted by the nomination committee. However, if the nomination committee fails to submit names agreed to by a majority of the nomination committee members, the governor may appoint anyone who meets the qualifications set forth in 2-15-2305(2) and (3).
"2-15-2305. Montana board of pardons and parole -- composition and qualifications -- allocation -- quasi-judicial. (1) There is a board of pardons and parole consisting of five members. The members must be appointed as provided in [section 1].
(2) Board members must possess at least one of the following qualifications:
(a) a college degree in criminology, corrections, or a related social science;
(b) at least 5 years of extensive work experience in corrections, the criminal justice system, or criminal law; or
(c) a law degree.
(3) Consideration should be given to balancing members' expertise or knowledge of:
(a) American Indian culture;
(b) serious mental illness and recovery from serious mental illness; and
(c) victim awareness.
(4) Board members shall serve staggered 6-year terms. The terms of board members run with the position, and if a vacancy occurs, the governor shall appoint a person to fill the unexpired portion of the term using the process provided for in [section 1].
(5) The governor shall designate the presiding officer, as provided in 2-15-124. The governor may designate a different presiding officer at any time. If the governor designates a different presiding officer, the former presiding officer still serves as a board member unless removed for cause pursuant to 2-15-124(6).
(6) The board is allocated to the department of corrections for administrative purposes only as prescribed in 2-15-121. However, the board may hire its own personnel, and 2-15-121(2)(d) does not apply.
(7) The board is designated as a quasi-judicial board for purposes of 2-15-124, except that board members must be compensated as provided in 46-23-111, the terms of board members must be staggered as provided in subsection (4), and the provisions of 2-15-124(1) do not apply to the board.
(8) A favorable vote of a majority of the members of the board is required to implement a policy, procedure, or administrative rule. A favorable vote of the majority of the members of a hearing panel, as defined in 46-23-103, is required to make decisions regarding parole and executive clemency."
NEW SECTION. Section 3. Codification instruction. [Section 1] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 46, chapter 23, part 1, and the provisions of Title 46, chapter 23, part 1, apply to [section 1].
NEW SECTION. Section 4. Applicability. [This act] applies to a vacancy on the board of pardons and parole that occurs on or after [the effective date of this act].
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Prepared by Montana Legislative Services