Local Option Tax — HB 195 allows local government to impose a local option tax on “luxury goods and luxury services.” It allows for property tax relief (on class 4 property). Among identified “luxury” items are goods normally sold to people in transit, gifts, prepared food, motor vehicle rental, hotel/motel services, food and drink sold by bars, taverns etc., beer, wine, liquor, etc. The district is created by a vote of the citizens and governed by an appointed board, which has the power to set ordinances to govern the collection and disbursement of tax revenue and issue bonds. [Sponsor Dave Fern, D, HD 5]
Carbon Tax — A bill that would establish the Montana Climate Act” which in general creates a tax aimed at dis -incentivizing carbon emissions or imposes “carbon tax”. It begins with the statement “The legislature finds that because climate change is adversely affecting Montana’s people, economy, and environment, it is in the best interest of the public that Montana reduce emissions of carbon dioxide.” It would revise Montana property tax and energy tax laws and empower the Board of Environmental Review to write rules to govern carbon emissions, reductions and tax credits and to also empower the Department of Revenue the authority to collect the tax and write rules. It would create a tax credit for development of alternative energy resources and for renters. It would also repeal the low-income property tax program and the disabled veterans assistance and tax credit for the elderly, and the intangible land value property exemption. [LC0520, Sponsor, Mike Phillips, D, SD31]
Licensing Requirement – HB 249 removes the exemption from state licensing requirements for clinical social workers or clinical professional counselors.
[ Sponsored by Sue Vinton, R, HD 56]
Another Licensing Requirement – HB 168 would require investigators working for public defenders to be licensed as private investigators. [Sponsored by Dale Mortensen, R, HD 44]
More Licensing – HB 273 makes clear that only a licensed dietician or nutritionist can provide counseling or manage nutrition needs for individuals or groups but adds an exception if a person does not represent themselves as being a licensed or permitted dietitian or nutritionist. [Sponsored by Casey Knudsen, R, HD 33]
New Licensing Rules – SB No. 157 gives the governing board the authority to establish rules under which a person working as a dental auxiliary may function. A dental auxiliary is a person other than a licensed dental hygienist employed by a licensed dentist. The board may, within the limitations of this chapter, adopt rules that define the qualifications and outline the tasks of any unlicensed auxiliary personnel to be employed by a licensed dentist.
Fee on Motor Vehicles – SB 102 would increase an optional fee at the time of registering a motor vehicle from $6 to $25 for the purposes of maintaining state parks, fishing accesses, etc. And changed the law to require that a person will elect to pay the fee rather than having to elect not to pay it. [Sponsored by Roger Webb, R, SD 23]
No Clean Air Act Expansion – SB 179 would prohibit the expansion of Montana’s Clean Air Act without the approval of the local government impacted. [Sponsored by Doug Kary, R, SD 22]
No Vaping – SB 122 would expand the Clean Indoor Air Act to prohibit the use of inhalant delivery systems in public places or places of employment. [Sponsored by Sue Malek, D, SD 46]
No Tanning by Minors – SB 21 would prohibit the use of tanning beds by persons under 18 years of age. [Sponsored by Roger Webb, R, SD 23]
No Plastic Straws – SB 120 would prohibit the operators of private businesses such as restaurants or other retail food establishments from providing a plastic straw to customers unless the customer requests it. The act would allow local governments to further restrict the actions of the private business owner. Violations would be punished by a fine of $25 up to $300 in a single year. [Sponsored by Sue Malek, D, SD 46]
Tax on Carry Out Bags —- SB 121 establishes a tax/fee for the use of disposable bags by retailers for which the consumer /citizen must pay 4 cents, and it requires that retailers pay to their customer 2 cents each for reuseable bag they use. The law controls the advertising done by the retailer/ citizen, prohibiting the retailer/citizen from indicating that the fee is reimbursable or in any way absorbable by the retailer. It authorizes the Department of Revenue to collect the fee from retail establishments and write rules for it; and it authorizes the Department of Environmental Quality to establish rules under which to administer a government enforced recycling program. The law dictates that retailers must post signs about the program and provide receipts. The retail business owners must maintain records regarding the transactions and file returns regarding it as mandated by the rules written by the Department of Revenue. [Sponsored by Sue Malek, D, SD 46]
Out of State Licensing – HB 105 would allow professionals or other occupations licensed or permitted to do business in other states to transfer that licensing permit to Montana so long as it is equivalent. [Sponsored by Katie Sullivan, D, HD 89]
Fingerprinting Required – SB 74 requires that fingerprinting and background checks must be obtained in the licensing and permitting of specified occupations and professions and for Department of Labor and Industry staff. The legislation designates each board within the agency to act as a criminal justice agency for the purpose of obtaining confidential criminal justice information on people seeking permissions and permits to conduct their professions and livelihoods. [Sponsored by Gene Vuckovich,D, SD 39]
No Law Allowed – A draft of a bill hovers in the wings that would forbid any governmental entity from imposing any regulations or ordinances regarding the use of work animals that would in application prohibit their use.[Sponsored by Theresa Manzella. R, HD 85]
Licensing laws in general – Montana is noted for its ambitiousness in regulating, licensing, certifying and permitting its citizens’ means of making a living. Waiting in the wings are a host of bills that poise to continue the tradition involving new or revised regulations regarding nursing, acupuncture, early child care, non-physician health providers, home inspectors, educational psychology, physical therapists, physician assistants, interpreters, electricians, mortuary science, midwives, independent contractors, veterinary technicians, chronic pain treatment, pharmacy benefit managers, speech language pathology, etc. etc. etc.