2011 Montana State Legislative Session

S.A.V.E.'s Priority Bills

HB 594 - Require a recycled content in state contracts and highway construction

Status: Signed by Governor!

S.A.V.E. supports this bill because it will help create a market for recycled content, and in effect, make recycling operations easier to support and create more recycling opportunities for Montanans.

Additional Resources

Green Highways Partnership -
Industrial Materials Recycling Factsheet

Clean Washington Center -
A Toolkit for Using Glass as a Construction Aggregate

Asphalt Rubber Technology Service - Newsletter or Recycled Tired in Road Construction

Montana Dept. of Environmental Quality - The Economic and Ecological Impacts of Recycling in Montana

SB 265 - Reduce property taxes on new construction for use of gray water systems

Status: Signed by Governor! Learn more

This bill will establish a 9% tax abatement for 10 years on new residential construction that utilizes gray water systems (reusing wash water to irrigate and flush toilets). Here is S.A.V.E.'s Executive Directors letter to the editor in support of the bill published in the Havre Daily News:

"Letter to the Editor — Matthew Elsaesser
Published: Wednesday, April 6th, 2011


The Montana Legislature has an opportunity to support water conservation with Senate Bill 265, sponsored by Brad Hamlettof Cascade. SB 265 would create an incentive for new construction to utilize gray water. The bill has passed the Montana Senate and will have first reading in the House today.

Gray water is the reuse of wash water, primarily from showers and laundry, to flush toilets and provide seasonal irrigation for landscaping. It has long been common sense to reuse this water in rural Montana; however, modern gray water systems are more complicated. They will require additional investment by homeowners, plumbers, builders and sanitarians.

SB 265 would establish a 9 percent abatement on new construction (new revenue) for the first 10 years. It encourages investment in water conservation up front, where it will be the most cost effective and best designed for the lifetime of the home. As communities across the state look to prevent water conflicts and preserve the capacity of costly infrastructure, gray water is an opportunity to value water as the precious resource it is.
Learn more about this legislation, gray water, and how you can contact your legislators at Savemobile.org.

Matthew Elsaesser, Executive director, The S. A.V. E. Foundation, Helena"

http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20110413/DC5/104130319/On-our-minds-Cyanide-other-toxic-matter (scroll down for letter)

Additional Resources

SB 265 Factsheet

Gray Water Uses

Legal History

Abatement Cost Comparison

Gray Water Guide

SB 226 - Amend utility net metering requirements

Status: This bill died in House Federal Relations Energy and Telecommunications Committee

S.A.V.E. opposes this bill because it discourages investment is decentralized renewable energy by customers of Montana’s regulated utilities. The bill bluntly attacks the net-metering laws that govern the reimbursement for power produced by these systems without recognizing their benefits.

HB 406 - Add energy efficiency expert to building codes council

Status: Bill did not pass 1st reading in House

S.A.V.E. supports this bill because an energy efficiency expert will provide the building codes council with additional information on conservation measures and techniques and how those can be included in an integrated building code. It is especially important to look at alternative methods that allow innovation for achieving energy and water efficiency in new buildings.

How do I contact my Legilsator?

Go to the Find a Montana Legislator page. You can find them by name if you know who yours is or you can open up the Legislative District Map and find your legislators by clicking on the area where you live.

You can view the contact information for any legislator. The most effective means of communication is usually by phone. You should call and leave a message. They do check them! Please also feel free to email or send them a letter but realize that a letter might not get to them until after they have already voted on the bill you're referring to.

You can also leave messages for multiple legislators from 7:30am to 5:00pm by calling the Session Information Desk (406-444-4462) or have a message delivered to them through this online form.
Don’t forget to thank legislators for the votes you do like too!

Is there anything else I can do to help?

Yes! Every Tuesday from 5:00pm to 9:00pm the Montana Conservation Voters needs volunteers to contact legislators and talk with them about the priority bills for the week. Any interested volunteer should contact Ross Prosperi at ross@mtvoters.org.

Join our mailing list and make note if you want to be contacted about opportunities to testify, write letters, or help make phone calls in support of conservation. Please give us a call at 406-449-6008 for updates on upcoming opportunities.