During the Transportation Interim Committee’s inaugural meeting July 9, members elected Senator Gordon Vance, R-Belgrade, presiding officer, and Senator Diane Sands, D-Missoula, vice presiding officer.

The 2019 Legislature passed and approved Senate Bill No. 226 establishing a Transportation Interim Committee. Historically, transportation matters were combined with revenue and tax policy and under the authority of the Revenue and Transportation Interim Committee. The TIC will maintain oversight of programs and rulemaking activities of the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) and the Motor Vehicles Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ MVD).

During the July 9 meeting, committee members discussed their work for the interim, which will likely focus on the three studies assigned to the TIC by the Legislative Council. Those include: a study of passenger transportation as outlined in House Joint Resolution No. 34, a study of bicycle and pedestrian paths as outlined in House Joint Resolution No. 45, and a study of traffic safety and policies as addressed in Senate Joint Resolution No. 28. The committee also is expected to dedicate time on future agendas to topics including electric vehicles and the operation of autonomous driving systems on Montana’s roadways.

Senate members appointed to the committee are Carlie Boland, D-Great Falls; Diane Sands, D-Missoula; Gordon Vance, R-Belgrade; and Jeff Welborn, R-Dillon. House members appointed to the committee are Ross Fitzgerald, R-Fairfield; Denley Loge, R-Saint Regis; Andrea Olsen, D-Missoula, and Mark Sweeney, D-Philipsburg.

The committee next meets September 16 in Helena. For more information about the meeting, including a full agenda, visit the committee's website or contact Sonja Nowakowski, committee staff.

The Legislative News.