Montana State Legislature

2003-2004 Economic Affairs Committee

The Economic Affairs Interim Committee is assigned by law (5-5-223, MCA) to monitor the following state agencies and the entities attached to these agencies for administrative purposes: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Labor and Industry, Department of Livestock, State Auditor, Governor's Office of Economic Development

September 7, 2004

June 30, 2004, and July 1, 2004

May 5, 2004

March 11, 2004

January 23, 2004

October 23, 2003, and October 24, 2003

June 11, 2003

Work Groups and Meetings

SJR 17 - Simplification of Workers' Compensation and Occupational Disease Laws

Introduced by Sen. Jon Tester, D-Big Sandy, Senate Joint Resolution 17 identifies as a problem the patchwork of confusion created by frequent amendments to Title 39, Chapters 71 and 72. Chapter 71, addressing workers' compensation, covers 98 pages in the Montana Code Annotated, 2001. Chapter 72, the Occupational Disease Act of Montana, runs 13 pages. Changing employment practices, administrative rules, and recent court decisions have contributed to the confusion.

The study will involve reviewing whether statutes need changing to improve coordination with court decisions, reviewing administrative rules to determine whether they implement the statutes and policies set by the legislature, and determining whether statutes need revising to reflect changing employment practices. The proposed goal is to make the workers' compensation statutes more understandable, reduce the time and the advice needed for compliance, and, ideally, reduce the number of court cases filed because of unclear statutes.
A copy of SJR 17


LC 249 - Angel Investor Resolution

MEDA Mill Levy Exclusion Request -- not adopted

MEDA New Tax Class for New, Expanded Industry -- not adopted

SJR 17 Exemption Proposal -- not adopted

LC 150 - Fund of Funds Proposal -- not adopted

The Committee adopted the SB 270 Independent Contractor bill, LC0358, as a Committee bill.

The Committee also adopted three workers' compensation bills as Committee bills: LC 0188 and LC 0189, which seek to clarify existing statutes, and LC 0353 to implement Supreme Court decisions on occupational disease.

Agriculture and Livestock

Economic Development

Proposed Legislation

decorative leaves element