What to Watch: Week of February 6, 2023

6 Feb 2023, by Sara Westbrook Share :

Last week, three IAC policies (S1034 on Court fee deadlines; S1035 Court fees, change of venues; and S1041 on County Treasurer Investments) and two IAC priorities (H0070 revisions to CAT fund repeal and H0085 DMV title administration fees) were introduced in the House or Senate. This week, we expect to see movement on these bills and a newly introduced resolution (SCR101 Emergency medical services, statewide plan) that likely interests counties.

House Bill 70 would clean up some loose ends from last year’s House Bill 735, which repealed the CAT fund ending county responsibilities for medical indigency. The bill could receive a full hearing as early as this week. Watch the House Health and Welfare Committee agendas for more information.

Newly printed, House Bill 85 would create a vehicle title administration fee that would allow the Board of County Commissioners to set a DMV title administration fee. If passed, the new statute will allow the fee to offset the county’s costs of providing the vehicle title service. The fee will vary from county to county since each county does a different amount of title work each month and has different staffing needs to provide customer service for those titles. By law, counties cannot profit from fees charged for county services. The fee cannot be used to cover other DMV costs besides the costs of providing titling services. The bill may receive a full hearing in the House Transportation Committee this week. Keep an eye on the House Transportation Committee agenda for more information about when the bill will be heard. IAC encourages county assessors to reach out to members of the House Transportation Committee to offer assistance about how House Bill 85 would help sustain a brick-and-mortar DMV presence in your county.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 101 is the result of a lot of hard work by the EMS Sustainability Taskforce. The resolution serves as a reminder to the House and Senate about the objectives of the Taskforce to ensure that EMS is sustainable across the state. The resolution recommends the Taskforce continue collaborating to determine statewide needs. As part of this process, planners will work with counties and EMS agencies across the state to determine the needs and how best to address those needs with the intention of bringing legislation next year. Senator Mark Harris and Representative Megan Blanksma are the bill sponsors. The resolution is tentatively scheduled to be heard on the Senate floor tomorrow, February 7th. The Senate floor usually starts at 11 a.m. MT. If you want to watch the Senate debate, you can view the live stream by clicking here.

For information about other legislation that may interest counties, please check out the IAC Bill Tracker on our website.