The State Administration and Veterans’ Affairs Interim Committee is meeting Feb. 10 to dive into the legal theory and various models for likening personal information to property and establishing laws about personal information ownership. As part of this examination, which is guided by House Joint Resolution 21 (2015), the committee will hear from legal experts in New Hampshire about that state’s law stating medical information is the patient’s property.
Poll on COPP Rules
Also on the agenda is final action by the full committee to document the results of a legislative poll on campaign finance rules proposed by the Commissioner of Political Practices. The rules were adopted in November and became effective on Jan. 8. The committee was required to conduct the poll after 23 legislators submitted letters to the committee objecting to 16 of the proposed rules on the basis that they were contrary to legislative intent. The poll asked each legislator to vote on each of the 16 rules by indicating whether the legislator thought the rule was consistent with or contrary to legislative intent. The results of the poll were published with the rules in the Jan. 8 Montana Administrative Register and are also available in the January issue of The Interim, which also provides additional information about the poll.
Election Law Cleanup
The committee will also hear about needed cleanup of certain election laws. Montana’s local election laws were generally revised by House Bill 84 (2015). The lengthy bill streamlined and standardized administrative procedures on the conduct of local elections, especially for special purpose district elections. Among other changes, the bill moved most special purpose district elections from being held on the same day as primary or general elections, or on the same day as a special election, to being held on the same day as school elections. School elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in May each year.
Because of the complexity of election laws and the many overlapping provisions amended by HB 84, some statutes affected by the bill still need tweaking. The committee will likely develop a committee bill for the 2017 session encompassing the needed cleanup.
The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. in Room 137 of the Capitol in Helena. For more information on the committee’s activities and upcoming meeting, visit the committee’s website or contact Sheri Scurr, committee staff.
Committee Website: www.leg.mt.gov/sava
Committee Staff: firstname.lastname@example.org or 406-444-3596