The Local Government Interim Committee will meet on November 8, beginning at 1:00 p.m. and November 9, beginning at 8:00 a.m. in Room 152 of the Capitol. The first day’s agenda is dedicated to the committee’s two interim studies—involving local fire protection and emergency services--followed on the second day by a variety of topics including the Montana State University-Extension Local Government Center, local government budgeting, the origins of the local government entitlement share, a Department of Environmental Quality subdivision review pilot project, and the information and guidance being provided to cities and counties on requesting funds generated from the gas tax increase in the Bridge and Road Safety and Accountability Act (HB 473, 2017).
SJR 21 requests an interim study of local fire and emergency service systems, intended to be an update on the 2007 emergency medical services study conducted by the Children, Families, Health and Human Services Interim Committee, a 2008 Legislative Audit Committee performance audit of the state’s emergency medical services programs, and a 2009 follow-up to the audit. In addition, the resolution requests the assigned committee to examine volunteer fire departments and the challenges they are facing with equipment, recruitment and retention, training, and funding.
HJR 25 requests an interim study of municipal fire department statutes, proposed in response to the failure in the 2017 session of a bill that would have allowed first-class and second-class municipalities to choose the method of fire protection offered to their residents, including annexing onto a rural fire district. City classification in Montana and fire protection service delivery models in other states will be among the reports.
Participants on the agenda include representatives of local fire departments and associations of fire chiefs and firefighters, the Departments of Public Health and Human Services, Labor, Environmental Quality, Administration, and Transportation, the Montana Association of Counties and the Montana League of Cities and Towns, the Montana State University-Extension Local Government Center, and members of the 1999-2000 Local Government Funding and Structure Committee that proposed the entitlement share.
The meeting will be live streamed at http://leg.mt.gov and will be broadcast on Television Montana (TVMT). Please check your local channel listings to find TVMT in your area. For more information about the meeting, including a full agenda, visit the committee’s website or contact Leanne Kurtz, committee staff.