Montana State Legislature
- 2018 Bill Drafting Manual
- SB 279 Primer Topics
- Agency Bill Drafting Workshop - June 1, 2012 - Video
- Bill Drafting Process for Legislators
- From Idea to Introduction: A Guide for Legislators to Drafting and Sponsoring Bills: HTML PDF
- Bill Draft Request Form
Who May Request Bills
Legislators and committees of the Legislature may officially request the drafting of bills. Legislative Services Division staff draft all bills to ensure they comply with bill drafting requirements.
Legislators may request bill drafts subject to the following:
- Holdover senators (those not required to run for re-election) may request bill drafts at any time; bill drafting begins in earnest the September preceding a session. List of holdover senators and unopposed legislators. After candidate-filing for the Legislature closes or after the primary election, legislators may begin to request bill drafts if they are running unopposed.
- After the general election, all legislators, including holdover senators, unopposed legislators, and newly elected legislators, may request an unlimited number of bills or resolutions to be drafted before 5 p.m. on December 5 preceding a regular session.
- After 5 p.m. on December 5, legislators may request no more than 7 bill drafts, at least 5 of which must be requested before the session convenes.
- After December 5, legislators may grant unused bill draft requests to other legislators.
These restrictions do not apply to bills proposed by the Code Commissioner in the Legislative Services Division, bills or resolutions requested by standing committees, or bills or resolutions requested on behalf of newly elected state officials.
Bill Draft Deadlines
There are deadlines by which legislators must request the drafting of certain types of bills:
|Bill Type||Legislative Day
|General bills & resolutions||
|Committee bills & resolutions||
|Committee revenue bills||
|Committee bills implementing provisions of a general appropriations act||
|Interim study resolutions||
How to Request Bill Drafts
To request a bill draft, legislators should fill out a “Bill Drafting Request” form (also available from the Legislative Services Division). Each bill draft request is assigned to a staff attorney or research analyst based on experience and workload. The first five requests legislators submit are drafted for legislators before a drafter may work on a legislator's sixth request. Click here for more information on prioritizing bill requests. The drafter is an impartial technician whose function is to translate a legislator's objectives and policy ideas into clear, concise, and unambiguous language. Legislators should submit bill draft request forms to:
Montana Legislative Services Division
P.O. Box 201706
Room 110, State Capitol
Helena, MT 59620-1706
Fax: (406) 444-3036
For State Agency Use
Microsoft Word Bill Drafting Macros and Templates: The Microsoft Word templates may be used to format bills, insert standard language, and retrieve MCA sections.
The Word templates require a connection to the Internet to retrieve Bill Sections. The Word template may be opened from the Internet or downloaded, you will save the resulting bill locally under a different name. Read the following Bill Drafting Template User Guide before installing and running the Microsoft Word Macro enabled Template.
For Help Using These Templates: Contact the Information Technology Services Division (ITSD), Department of Administration, 406-444-2000.