2023 Legislature

The 2023 Montana Legislature

The 2023 Montana Legislature ended in early May (the Montana Legislature meets in odd

Janet talks at the Helena Chamber/Tourism luncheon in September 2022. Eliza Wiley photo.

years only). As your Senator, I want to share a few of our biggest accomplishments:

  • Balanced budget. We passed a balanced budget, as required by the Montana Constitution. In 2023 (and 2021), I serve as the Senate Minority Vice Chair on the budget committee and was involved in building the budget.

I successfully sponsored several pieces of legislation and amendments, including ones that:

  • Improve government transparency by providing deadlines for public information requests (SB 232). I was the main sponsor of a bill that will allow every Montanan to exercise their constitutional right-to-know about what their government is up to. The bill, which applies only to Executive Branch agencies, sets defined deadlines for government agencies to produce public records requested by members of the public.
Bill signing ceremony with Governor Gianforte.

Governor Gianforte signs SB 232 into law, which significantly improves Montanans constitutional right-to-know (Article II, Section 9 of the Montana Constitution).

  • Helped protect election workers (SB61). I was the sponsor of Senate Bill 61, which clarifies that individuals who interfere with election officials and election workers are guilty of obstruction of a public servant (and can be punished under the law).

  • Added several amendments to the state budget, including:
    • $3.7 million to the Montana Department of Environmental Quality to reimburse schools for testing and mitigation work for water faucets and fountains under the lead in public school drinking water program;
    • $100,000 per year to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Park’s for purchasing water to maintain fisheries (aka instream flows);
    • $150,000 per year to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks for weed control and riparian enhancement of fishing access sites; and
    • $200,00 per year to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks to take care of fishing access issues due to increased recreation.

I look forward to working for you in 2024 and beyond. Please feel free to reach out with your concerns and ideas!

Senator Janet Ellis