Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 1. Local Government Ordinances, Resolutions, and Initiatives and Referendums

Procedure For Initiative Or Referendum Election

7-5-132. Procedure for initiative or referendum election. (1) The electors of a local government may, by petition, request an election on whether to enact, repeal, or amend an ordinance. The form of the petition must be approved by the county election administrator. A petition signed by at least 15% of the local government's qualified electors is sufficient to require an election.

(2) (a) If an approved petition containing sufficient signatures is filed prior to the ordinance's effective date or within 60 days after the passage of the ordinance, whichever is later, a petition requesting an election on whether to amend or repeal the ordinance delays the ordinance's effective date until the ordinance is ratified by the electors.

(b) If an approved petition containing sufficient signatures is filed within 60 days after the effective date of an emergency ordinance, the emergency ordinance is suspended until it is ratified by the electors.

(3) The governing body may refer an existing or proposed ordinance to a vote of the people by resolution.

(4) A petition or resolution for an election must:

(a) embrace only a single comprehensive subject;

(b) set out fully the ordinance sought, the ordinance to be amended and the proposed amendment, or the ordinance to be repealed;

(c) be in the form prescribed in Title 13, chapter 27, except as specifically provided in this part; and

(d) contain transition provisions if the measure changes terms of office or forms of government.

(5) An election held pursuant to this section must be conducted in conjunction with the next local government election held in accordance with Title 13, chapter 1, part 4, except that if the petition asks for a special election, specifies an election date that complies with 13-1-405, and is signed by at least 25% of the qualified electors, a special election must be held on the date specified in the petition.

(6) If a majority of those voting on the question approve the proposal, it becomes effective when the election results are officially declared, unless otherwise stated in the proposal.

History: En. 47A-3-106 by Sec. 9, Ch. 477, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 47A-3-106(3) thru (5); amd. Sec. 299, Ch. 571, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 359, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 374, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 77, Ch. 49, L. 2015; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 242, L. 2017.