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3/ «•«*,- SHELVB; 

^ '^ / Publication of PL'-K' 

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ma Legislative Council 

No (b 

3 0864 1004 4170 1 


1510 L. Gt l-i AVE. 




Restoration Finally Begins . ..Restoration of the Capitol building is finally 
beginning. Contracts have been awarded for the stone repair, window 
replacement, and the roof repairs. Ingram-Clevenger, Inc, Helena, was the 
successful bidder for the envelope repairs, while Miller/Shaw Roofing, 
Missoula, will be doing the roof repairs. Thus far the budgetary news 
is good, too. While the stone project has many unknowns and variables 
and will undoubtedly require extensive change orders, the base bid is 
approximately $1M less than had been projected. 

Workers will be on site beginning the week of August 19 to begin 
roof tear-off. The roof work is expected to be completed by the middle 
of October. The stone repair team will begin testing and color matching 
this fall, with the actual restoration work scheduled to begin in the 
spring. Window repair and replacement will proceed through the winter 
as weather allows. 

CAG Meets in August ...ln the ongoing planning of the interior work, 
the Capitol Advisory Group (CAG) met in Helena on Tuesday, August 6 
to give final input on the Capitol project programming document. Space 
utilization and project planning were discussed at length, with space 
utilization dominating most of the discussion. 

The CAG voted to recommend that the Governor include the following 
enhancements tp the . restoration programming in the 1998-1999 Long 
Range Building request: 


This addition will allow for all mechanical equipment 
to be in the central plant rather than being placed 
on the Capitol lawn. 


RESTROOMS $ 200,000 

Add additional fixtures. Code requirement. 


Add an interior stairwell in the east wing of 
the Capitol to provide for exiting from hearing 
rooms. Fire safety requirement. 

MODIFY 202 VAULT $ 160,000 

This project would eliminate the old Secretary 
of State Vault, providing additional floor space 
for hearing and meeting rooms and allowing for 
the restoration of the windows in this area. 


Upgrade existing and proposed hearing rooms 
to improve public access. 


This proposal improves space utilization and 
allows for efficient design of the already approved 
mechanical and technology upgrades. 


Committee to Meet in September .. .The Legislative Finance Committee 
(LFC) will meet on September 19 and 20 in Room 104 of the State 
Capitol. The LFC will meet jointly with the Revenue Oversight Committee 
on the morning of the 19th in Room 325 of the State Capitol to hear 
the biennial "Big Picture" report from Legislative Fiscal Division staff. 
Washington D.C. staff of the National Conference of State Legislatures will 
also present a report at that time on current federal budget actions. 

Among the other scheduled topics for the LFC meeting are the 
general fund status report, an update on gas tax cash flow, updates from 
the executive branch on reorganization efforts, and updates on and 
resolution of several on-going committee issues. 



Sentencing Commission Meets ...The Montana Sentencing Commission 
was established by the 54th Montana Legislature to study sentencing 
practices in Montana and to determine the advisability of proposing 
advisory sentencing guidelines to the 55th Legislature. The Commission 
is composed of four legislators and 12 other persons appointed by the 
governor to represent criminal justice interests. The Commission is staffed 
by personnel from the Department of Corrections and meets monthly in 
various locations around the state. 

For more information regarding the work of the Commission and its 
meeting schedule, please contact Tammy Plubell (406)444-3910 or 
Stephanie Powell (406)444-9648 at the Department of Corrections. 


To Hold Final Meeting . ..The final meeting of the Subcommittee on the 
Foreign Investment Depository is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. in Room 
437 in the State Capitol on September 11. The agenda calls for 
adjournment at 6 p.m., but allows for continuation of the meeting into 
the evening hours (following a dinner break) or in the morning of 
September 12 to accommodate pubiic testimony. The main purpose of 
the meeting is to review the contents of the draft enabling legislation and 
to hear comments from representatives of state and federal agencies, the 
financial services sector, and other interested persons. 

The draft bill was requested by the Subcommittee at its March 27-28 
meeting. Since that time, staff has consulted with a number of state and 
federal officials, as well was with the members, and the resulting package 
of proposed legislation attempts to fulfill the following goals: 

• Maximize individual financial privacy within parameters of federal 

• Require chartered depository to provide prudent degree of asset 
protection to customers. 

• Assure reasonable profitability for depository via allowable fees & 
favorable tax regime. 


Establish clear eligibility criteria for depositories and their 

Minimize state liability and risk in arenas of negligence, fraud, and 
criminal abuses. 

Maximize economic benefits to Montana of foreign capital on 

Accommodate technological advances involving privacy, security, 
and costs of transactions. 

Deter criminal elements from using the depository as a vehicle for 
money laundering. 

Delineate and assign regulatory functions/responsibilities in a 
coherent, cost-effective way. 

Minimize federal involvement without forgoing essential benefits of 

Structure a functional relationship to platinum bullion and other 
tangible assets. 

Provide for methods of revenue assessment, collection, and 

Amend existing statutes to except, exempt, or include foreign 
capital depositories. 

These and additional goals will serve as a tool by which to measure 
the substantive accuracy and completeness of the draft bill during the 
course of the September 1 1 meeting. 

For further information about the meeting agenda and the draft 
legislation, please contact Stephen Maly at the Legislative Services 
Division, (406)444-3064. 


Commission to Hold Final Meeting .. .The Juvenile Justice and Mental 
Health Study Commission will hold its seventh and final meeting in Helena 


on September 9 and 10. The Commission will take its final action and 
adopt its findings and recommendations. Briefly, the tentative proposals 
are to: 

• support the Department of Public Health and Human Services' 
proposal to increase chemical dependency funding for adolescents 
by $200,000 each fiscal year of the 1999 biennium; 

• recommend that the state provide long-term secure care for 
chronic severely emotionally disturbed youth; 

• recommend that the state provide a continuum of care for 
treatment of youth who are adjudicated sex offenders, that Pine 
Hills School be considered a potential place for treatment within 
the continuum of care, when appropriate, and that the sex 
offender population be placed under a separate population cap in 
order to allow treatment to be completed; 

• make a recommendation regarding a mental health treatment 
continuum of care; 

• support an Office of Public Instruction proposal to allocate a small 
portion of the state's share of direct state aid to provide schools 
with resources to address conduct-disordered pupils in public 
school classrooms; 

• recommend that special education funding and other education 
funding follow an out-of-district student and be allowed to be 
used for specific costs incurred by the district; 

• recommend that school records, including the cumulative file and 
special education records, along with the original immunization 
records, be transferred to the receiving school within 5 days of 

• make recommendations regarding schools and information sharing 
with state and county agencies through interagency agreements, 
use of existing teams, and computer databases; 

• recommend judicial pilot projects for families involved in the Youth 
Court and other human services to provide a single point-of-entry; 
juvenile assessment centers; family assessment coordination teams; 
and court magistrates, special masters, or research assistants to 
assist district court judges; 

• recommend that habitual truancy and ungovernability be treated 
as misdemeanor crimes in justice, municipal, and city courts with 
concurrent jurisdiction with Youth Court; 


• recommend the elimination of the "youth in need of supervision" 
designation, the removal of status offenders (truancy, 
ungovernability) from the Youth Court Act, the provision for a 
single petition for delinquent youth, and increased penalties for 
violation of formal consent decrees; 

• recommend that the county attorney be allowed to file for leave 
to file information directly in District Court for serious offenses; 

• recommend limiting the use of an informal consent adjustment and 
a formal consent decree for the equivalent of a single felony for 

• recommend increasing the time for short-term detention from 96 
hours to 10 working days; 

• recommend that detention be allowed for formal consent decrees 
up to 10 days and informal consent adjustments up to 3 days: 

• make recommendations on other detention alternatives, detention 
reimbursement, and Youth Court funding. 

A more detailed summary of the proposals will mailed to those on 
the interested persons list prior to the meeting. 

On September 9, the Commission will meet with students and with 
Hunter Hurst III of the National Center for Juvenile Justice. The public 
hearing on the proposals will be at 3 p.m. in Room 437. 

On September 10, the Commission will discuss and take executive 
action on the findings and proposals. The final recommendations will be 
presented to the 55th Legislature in a final report that will be available 
in November 1996 and in bill draft form. 

For more information, please contact Susan Fox at the Legislative 
Services Division, (406)444-3064. 


Subcommittee Holds Final Meeting . ..The final meeting of the 
Subcommittee on Veterans' Needs was held on August 6 in Helena. The 
Subcommittee approved the following recommendations: 


• legislation for a site selection process for an eastern Montana 
State Veteran's Cemetery with a $10,000 general fund 

• legislation for a National Guard scholarship program with a $1.14 
million general fund appropriation; 

• legislation to allow the Board of Regents to adopt a tuition 
waiver for survivors of a Guard member killed while on state 
active duty; 

• a letter of support to the Governor for a Department of Public 
Health and Human Services' subsidy of $268,640 from cigarette 
tax revenue for the Eastern Montana Veteran's Home to assist 
veterans who pay for their own care; 

• a letter to all department directors stating concerns that veterans' 
preference is not being utilized and encouraging the use of a 
scored procedure in hiring in order that the veterans' preference 
may be applied; 

• legislation for continuation of the Subcommittee on Veterans' 
Needs with an appropriation of $10,000 of cigarette tax revenue; 

• a request for further information on veterans' ability to have 
license plates for the disabled; clearer designation of the branch 
of the armed forces on the license plates; and a proposal to 
utilize the old Anaconda hospital for veterans' nursing home beds. 

For copies of the proposed legislation or for more information contact 
Susan Fox at the Legislative services Division, (406)444-3064. 


Bill Drafting Subcommittee Meets ...The Bill Drafting Process 
Subcommittee, composed of members of the Legislative Council, the 
Environmental Quality Council, the Legislative Audit Committee, and the 
Legislative Finance Committee, met on August 15 in Helena. The 
Subcommittee considered the ramifications of Judge Honzel's decision 
allowing public access to bill drafting documents in the possession of 
legislative staff. Judge Honzel held that the public is entitled to inspect 
all documents in the possession of staff at any stage of the drafting 


process. The Subcommittee is recommending a new process in order to 
allow the legislator requesting a bill to ensure accuracy and to prevent 
lobbyists and other special interest groups from unduly influencing the bill 
drafting process. A legislator would still be able to follow the existing 
drafting process by submitting a request to the staff to prepare a draft. 

Subcommittee Proposes Bill Drafting Changes .. .The Subcommittee is 
recommending two categories of bill draft requests: staff drafts and 
legislator drafts. The Subcommittee recommends a general bill draft 
request deadline of the 10th legislative day. A legislator may submit a 
request to the Legislative Services Division as a staff draft, and the 
process will continue as in prior legislative sessions. A legislator could 
also request a bill as a "legislator draft". The request would be recorded 
as a "legislator draft". The legislator would then be required to submit 
a draft bill and a diskette containing the draft bill to the Legislative 
Services Division. The "legislator draft" would be required to conform to 
the provisions of the 1996 edition of the Bill Drafting Manual. The 
"legislator draft" would be available to the public upon submission to the 
Legislative Services Division. A "legislator draft" submitted to the 
Legislative Services Division would receive priority over all other drafts. 
The Legislative Services Division would submit the "legislator draft" to the 
Division's normal process with priority at each step. If the "legislator 
draft" is not submitted to the Legislative Services Division by the 20th 
legislative day, the drafting request will be canceled. Processing by the 
Legislative Services Division will allow engrossing and enrolling to occur 
and will allow the public electronic access to the bill in the same manner 
as all other bills. The 20th legislative day deadline will allow greater 
ability to schedule hearings on sensitive bills and will allow more timely 
public analysis of controversial bills prior to the transmittal deadline. 

The Bill Drafting Process Subcommittee also recommends that any bill 
drafting request that is in a "hold" status on or after the 10th legislative 
day lose the LC number priority normally assigned to the request. If the 
"hold" status is removed, the draft request would have the priority that 
it occupies at the time that the "hold" is removed. 

The Bill Drafting Process Subcommittee's recommendations will be 
submitted to the Legislative Council at the Council's September meeting. 


Telephone Number Changes ... Anyone who may be distributing 
information concerning the upcoming legislative session should note that 
the phone numbers listed for "Legislative Information" and "Legislative 
Messaging" on page 28 of the 1996 Montana State Government 
Telephone Directory are incorrect. Instead of the 900 numbers that are 
listed, the numbers for both Information and Messaging should be 444- 
4800. The numbers listed for the "Telephone Device for the Deaf" (800 


-832-0283) and the FAX number for the Information Office (900-225- 
1600) are correct. 


EQC to Meet in Lincoln . ..The EQC will meet in Lincoln on Friday, 
September 13. The Council will be touring a number of sites around the 
Lincoln area, including the proposed McDonald Gold Project site, the Mike- 
Horse Mine, and the Blackfoot River. 

Compliance and Enforcement Subcommittee to Complete 
Recommendations .. .The Compliance and Enforcement Subcommittee met on 
August 16 to hear additional information on a number of study issues 
and to begin the process of drafting initial study recommendations. The 
Subcommittee's next scheduled meeting is Thursday, September 12 in 
Room 108 of the State Capitol. At that time the Subcommittee will 
complete a draft of its study findings and recommendations. 

MEPA Subcommittee to Meet in September . ..The MEPA Subcommittee 
will meet on Thursday, September 12 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 
312-3 of the State Capitol. The Subcommittee will draft its 

recommendations to the full EQC on the state agency guidelines for 
Senate Bill 231 that integrates regulatory impact analysis on private 
property rights into MEPA's environmental review analysis. 

Indicators Subcommittee Continues Its Work ...The Montana 
Environmental Indicators Subcommittee has not yet scheduled its next 
meeting. The Montana Environmental Indicator publication and distribution 
date is October 31. The Subcommittee is in the process of reviewing 
the indicator graphics and narratives. 

Resource Indemnity Trust (RIT) Subcommittee to Meet in 
September . ..The Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) and the EQC have 
jointly formed a four-person RIT Subcommittee to provide recommendations 
on what the state should do about potential imbalances between revenue 
to and expenditures from the various funds that receive RIT interest and 
tax proceeds. The LFC and EQC appointed Representatives Ed Grady, 
Bob Raney, Bill Ryan, and Senator Lorents Grosfield to the RIT 
Subcommittee. The RIT Subcommittee met on May 20 and on June 28. 
Discussions during these meetings focused on categorizing the uses of 
RIT, RIT account structure, and earmarked revenues. The Subcommittee 
concluded that it needed to analyze the information presented, and it also 
needed some additional information on the legislative history and intent of 
the use of RIT interest and proceed funds. EQC staff provided an 
extensive report on the legislative history of the RIT to the Subcommittee 


at its June 28 meeting. The RIT Subcommittee will meet on Wednesday, 
September 18 in Room 104 of the State Capitol. 

Environmental Self Audit Working Group Drafting Legislation . ..As a part 
of the HJR 10 Compliance and Enforcement study, an EQC working group 
has been evaluating the merits of providing incentives for individuals and 
businesses to perform environmental self auditing. This group has met 
four times and is currently producing draft legislation. The working 
group's next meeting has not yet been scheduled. 


Council to Meet in September . ..The Legislative Council will meet 
September 12 and 13. Among the items tentatively on the agenda are: 

• consideration of final recommendations on SJR 4 regarding 
committee minutes; 

• review and adoption of a Code of Conduct for legislative staff. 
This is a personnel policy for Council adoption and Finance and 
Audit Committee concurrence. 

• discussion of a visit by the new director of the Western Office 
of the Council of State Governments who wants to present the 
current CSG West program; 

• a report from the Land Board in response to a Council request 
regarding land disposition guidelines; 

• review and approval of the Legislative Branch Computer Systems 
Plan, approved by the Planning Council on August 20; 

• review and approval of Classification and Pay Plan 
implementation plan following NCSL recommendations; 

• review and approval of the Legislative Services budget proposal, 
incorporating the revisions approved at the June 14 meeting; 

• reports and approval of action recommendations of the various 
Council subcommittees; 

• review and approval of Council rules' changes as discussed on 
June 14; 


• setting of fees for proceedings of the legislative session; and 

• review of preparations for legislative intern program, including 
reviewing rules governing the program. 

The Council will also conduct other administrative business, including 
executive director review and taking the group photo for the biennium. 

Council Subcommittees Continue Their Work .. .The Council currently has 
four subcommittees working on various issues of importance to the 
legislative process. These Subcommittees will report to the full Council 
at the September meeting. 

• Personnel Subcommittee : Composed of members from the Council, 
the Audit Committee, and the Finance Committee. Responsible 
for the classification and pay plan and NCSL recommendations 
beyond the pay plan. Council members of the Subcommittee 
have the executive director evaluation project. Council members 
are Sen. Brown, Chair.; Rep. Menahan; Rep. Peck; and Sen. 

• Legislative Improvement and Council Mission Subcommittee : 
Working on whole legislative improvement agenda, including 
proposed rule changes and the draft mission statements. Also 
looking at proposing revisions to the session master schedule 
and may consider other matters for early session orientation 
meetings and so on. Members are Rep. Mercer, Chair; Sen. 
Halligan; Sen. Crippen; and Rep. Larson. 

• Interstate and International Cooperation Subcommittee : Considering 
in depth the interstate and international opportunities and 
obligations of the Legislature and recommending what, if any, 
budgets should be supported in addition to assisting in the 
hosting of delegations. Members are Rep. Peck, Chair; Sen. 
Brown; and Sen. Lynch. 

• Bill Drafting Subcommittee : Reviewing rules related to how bills 
are drafted to allow outside drafting and reviewing policies for 
access to bill drafting information. Sen. Grosfield is Chair. 
Council members are Rep. Mercer and Rep. Larson. 



Committee Holds Sixth Meeting .. .The Oversight Committee on Children 
and Families conducted its sixth of seven scheduled interim meetings on 
July 24 and 25. The Committee took action on several options related 
to child care, substance abuse prevention, and teenage pregnancy 
prevention. Additionally, the Committee participated in a roundtable 
discussion on information management systems, specifically TEAMS, 
MACCS, CAPS, and SEARCHES. Department of Public Health and Human 
Services staff presented information on the MIAMI (Montana Initiative for 
the Abatement of Mortality in Infants), Follow Me, and the problem of 
fetal alcohol syndrome. 

The following is a summary of the specific action taken by the 
Committee during that meeting. 


Incentives for employers : The Committee voted to support an 
information campaign to inform employers about current tax benefits 
for employer-provided child care and about the benefits of high quality 
child care for the children of employees. Additionally, staff will 
explore ways (other than tax credits or deductions) to give employers 
incentives to support quality child care for employees. 

Training for child care providers : The Committee endorsed the 
Governor's Child Care Advisory Council's recommendation that a 
minimum of 8 hours of training annually be required for all licensed 
day care center, group home day care, and family home day care 
providers. This requirement would be established by administrative 
rule of the Department of Public Health and Human Services. The 
current administrative rule requires that only day care center providers 
must receive 8 hours of training annually. Group and family home 
day care providers are required to receive 8 hours of orientation 
training when initially getting started but have no annual training 

The Committee will urge the ICC (Interagency Coordinating Council on 
Prevention) to develop recommendations on how training for child care 
providers may be funded through existing grant or loan programs. 
The Committee will ask that these recommendations be included with 
the unified budget to be presented to the Legislature, the Committee, 
and the Governor by September 1, 1996. By consensus, the 
Committee also directed staff to develop a preliminary bill draft 
providing for a grant or loan program for child care provider training. 


Recommendations of Governor's Child Care Advisory Council : The 
Committee will sponsor legislation recommended by the Governor's 
Child Care Advisory Council to expand jurisdiction for the enforcement 
of child care statutes to Justice of the Peace and Municipal Courts 
in addition to District Courts. 

Assisting child care providers : The Committee voted in favor of 
considering a bill draft to provide start-up money for before- and 
after-school programs for school-aged children. Staff was directed to 
draft a bill encompassing a grant, direct loan, and/or loan guarantee 
program to assist child care providers to establish or improve day 
care centers or homes. The legislation would also encompass 
previous committee action to provide funding for before- and after- 
school programs as well as funding for provider training. 


Statewide conference : The Committee voted to recommend to the 
Governor through a Committee letter that the Governor call a 
statewide conference on teenage pregnancy and that the conference 
be conducted sometime in 1997. The conference would be to 
support a statewide dialogue on how best to prevent teen pregnancy 
and unintended pregnancy and to initiate a community planning 
process to enable community initiatives. Conference participants would 
be representative of all interests and perspectives from all across 
Montana. Additionally, selected members of the Oversight Committee 
on Children and Families would, if requested, work on the steering 
committee to organize the conference. 

Family planning media campaign : The Committee voted to support the 
current information campaign aimed at teens and designed to prevent 
teenage pregnancies. The Committee will recommend that the 
campaign make the following adjustments: (1) include more messages 
targeting teenage males as well as adult males, (2) include more 
messages that do not assume that a youth is sexually active but that 
recognize that a youth may be undecided, and (3) include more 
messages that reinforce abstinence. 


The Committee voted to continue oversight and evaluation of the ICC 
pilot project, which supports one community-based primary prevention 
project. The pilot project is to plan and implement a comprehensive 
system of preventative service to children and their families who are 
at risk for family violence, juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, 
behavioral disorders, and school failure. The pilot project grant was 
awarded to Missoula. The project is funded by $60,000 each year for 
three years, though funding after the first year is not guaranteed. 
The grant requires a 20% hard cash match. As stated in the RFP, 


one of the primary purposes of the project is to document what works 
and to disseminate that information in a manner that is meaningful to 
communities and replicable throughout the state. 

Staff was directed to explore legislative options for making it illegal 
to sell "make believe" drugs or legal chemicals that can be used as 


The Committee voted to sponsor legislation adding to the ICC's duties 
and responsibilities the development, maintenance, and implementation 
of benchmarks for state prevention programs. The Committee voted 
to sponsor legislation that will add the Director of the Department of 
Corrections to the membership of the ICC. 


The Committee will recommend that the next Oversight Committee on 
Children and Families study issues related to aging in Montana. The 
study would identify what services are available, how well these 
services are meeting the needs of the aging, and the issues families 
have that are associated with having aging family members. 

To Hold Final Meeting in September ...The Committee will continue to 
develop and adopt final recommendations at its next and final meeting, 
which will be conducted on Monday, September 16 in Room 437 of the 
State Capitol beginning at 8 a.m. 

Additional issues to be discussed and potentially acted upon during 
the September 16 meeting include the following: 

• how to promote a systematic, outcome-based evaluation of 
programs serving children and families; 

• FAIM welfare reform issues and implementation; 

• child custody and visitation issues being addressed by the 
Montana State Bar Association; and 

• the unified budget for prevention programs, which HB 2 required 
to be developed by the ICC and presented to the Committee and 
to the 1997 Legislature as part of the Executive Budget 

The Committee will also be updated on the activities of the 
Governor's newly formed Council on Families and the final 
recommendations of the Juvenile Justice and Mental Health Study 

For additional information, please contact Sheri Heffelfinger at the 
Legislative Services Division, (406)444-3064. 



Committee Takes Some Preliminary Action . ..The Committee on Public 
Employee Retirement Systems met August 14 and 15 to consider staff 
analysis and take preliminary action on several of the 23 retirement 
proposals submitted for Committee review. 

The following proposals, listed by the proposal number assigned on 
June 10 received an initial public hearing at the meeting: 

#4 The Public Employee Retirement Board housekeeping bill. 

#6 Providing members of the Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) 

who have been retired at least 5 years with a biennial 
postretirement increase equal to tax revenues from retirement 
income combined with the current postretirement increase 
from investment earnings above 8%. The biennial 

postretirement increase would total about 1 .3% and would be 
capped at the CPI. 

#7 The Teachers' Retirement Board housekeeping bill. 

#19 Proposal forwarded by Mr. Brian McCullough to encourage the 

Public Employee Retirement Division to continue to disseminate 
to PERS members information about legislation that may affect 

#20 A proposal forwarded by Rep. Kasten to allow a 1 % 
employer contribution to an employee's deferred compensation 

#21 Consideration of converting the public retirement plans from 

defined benefit to defined contribution plans. 

#22 A proposal to extend the sunset provision on the Committee. 

The Committee took action on the following proposals, which received 
a public hearing on June 10: 

Proposal #2 : The Committee voted to recommend a DO PASS on the 
Public Employee Retirement Board's bill to amend the funding of the 
Judges' Retirement System (JRS). This proposal will provide that 
District and Supreme Court fees previously used to fund JRS will be 
deposited to the state general fund and that the state general fund 
will directly fund the JRS. This will address the under-funding issue 


of JRS, which prevented JRS from being certified as actuarially sound 
because court fees have been consistently insufficient to fund JRS. This 
proposal does not change any court fee amounts. Citing differences with 
the Board's actuarial information showing that JRS was under funded, the 
Supreme Court Administrator's Office and the District Judges' Association 
through District Judge Ed McLean went on record as opposing the 

Proposal #3 : The Committee voted to recommend a DO PASS on the 
Public Employee Retirement Board's proposal to actuarially fund the 
minimum benefits provided in the Municipal Police Officers' Retirement 
System and the Firefighters' Retirement System. Currently, these 
benefits are paid by a reimbursement through the State Auditor's 
Office from insurance premium tax money. Under this proposal, the 
premium tax money will be advanced (instead of reimbursed) to the 
retirement systems so that the minimum benefits can be prefunded 
in an actuarial manner. 

Proposal #16 : The Committee voted to recommend a DO PASS on 
a proposal to reduce the vesting requirement in the Municipal Police 
Officers' Retirement System from 10 years to 5 years. The 
Committee also requested additional information from staff about the 
vesting provisions in the other retirement systems and the costs and 
options for a similar vesting reduction in other systems with vesting 
periods longer than 5 years. 

Proposal #17 : The Committee voted to recommend a DO PASS on 
the proposal forwarded by the Montana Education Association to 
require that, of two appointees to the Teachers' Retirement Board 
who must be certified teachers, at least one must be actively 
teaching in a classroom. 

Committee Postpones Action .. .The Committee postponed action on the 
following proposals pending additional information and analysis: 

#1 The 1.5% GABA --guaranteed annual benefit adjustment- 

which provides that, in combination with existing 
postretirement adjustments, after three years retirees in all 
systems except the TRS and ORP, will receive at least a 
1.5% increase in their retirement benefit. The total 

postretirement adjustment will be capped at the CPI. Eighty- 
five percent of the cost of the GABA is to be paid by 
exchanging existing benefits for the guaranteed adjustment. 
Employer and employee contributions will also be raised over 
four years, with the state general fund paying the increase 
for local government employers. The total biennial cost to 


the state general fund is estimated to be about $250,000. 

#5 Expanding the Game Wardens' Retirement System into a 

"State Law Enforcement Retirement System" for state 
employees with law enforcement/safety responsibilities. 

#8 The University System is proposing that classified general 

university employees under PERS join the University System's 
Optional Retirement Plan (ORP), which is a defined 
contribution plan currently covering only faculty members. 
Current PERS members would be allowed the option of 
staying in PERS, but future employees would have to join the 
ORP. The Committee heard testimony from university 
employees and from representatives of TIAA-CREF, the 
corporation currently managing the ORP and ORP member 

#9 The Public Pension Security Coalition's proposal for a 

permanent 2.5% increase in all benefits paid to public 
employees as a "make whole" provision to address the state 
taxation of state retirement benefits. 

#10 Amending the minimum benefit in MPORS to provide that any 
officer who retired at the rank of Sgt. or above would 
receive no less than Vz of a current Sgt.'s pay. 

#1 1 An ad hoc benefit increase for FURS retirees. 

#13 To increase retirement benefit under FURS from 2% per year 
of service to 2.5% per year of service; amend formula to be 
based on final average salary instead of final monthly 

#14 To increase the benefit formula in SRS from 2.0834% per 
year of service to 2.5% per year of service for all years. 

#15 To amend reinstatement provisions for SRS members who 

have been removed from medical retirement status. This 

proposal will be combined with #4, the PERB general 
housekeeping bill. 

#18 To provide that laid off state employees are allowed the 
option of benefits from the Employee Protection Act or the 
three years of retirement credit purchased by employer as 
were provided under 1995 legislation and to provide a delay 
(until FY99) in the GABA's provision increasing the cost of 
purchasing 1 year of service for each 5 years of active 
membership service. 


To Meet Again in November ...The Committee set its next meeting 
date for November 7 and 8. The actuarial valuations of the retirement 
systems will not be complete until October 1, and the retirement boards 
and staff need time to review the information. The November meeting 
will be conducted in Room 104 of the State Capitol and will begin at 
8 a.m. 

Committee May Meet in October . ..The Committee is considering a late 
October meeting, which would be an educational seminar for Committee 
members and other interested persons. The seminar would be conducted 
by Mr. Leon LaBrecque, a consultant from Educational Technologies, and 
would focus on the issues of defined benefit and defined contribution 
plans, benefit portability, investment choices, the experiences of other 
states, and other matters of interest to the Committee and significant to 
its consideration of proposals, such as placing university employees under 
the ORP, converting to a defined contribution plan, privatization issues, 
and workforce mobility. 

For more information, please contact Sheri Heffelfinger at the 
Legislative Services Division, (406)444-3064. 


To Meet in September . ..The Committee on Indian Affairs will meet on 
Friday, September 13 in Room 437 in the State Capitol. The meeting 
will begin at 9:30 a.m. The Committee will meet the new Coordinator 
of Indian Affairs, Wyman McDonald, at that time. In addition, the 
Committee will hear reports from staff on the results of the surveys sent 
to the institutions of higher education in the state and to a random 
sample of public schools and school districts in the state. Staff will also 
report on the results of the various public hearings that the Committee 
held on SJR 11. The Committee will then begin to formulate its 
recommendations to the 1997 Legislature. 

For further information about the meeting, please contact Connie 
Erickson at the Legislative Services Division, (406)444-3064. 



Loosely translated, its scientific name means "lumpy head". This 
could describe the amorphous, amoeba-like form it takes once inside a 
rainbow trout, or the disfiguring characteristics of an infected host's 
cranium. Either way, Myxobolus cerebralis (M. cerebralis), or the whirling 
disease parasite spore, is wreaking havoc in some of Montana's most 
prolific trout fisheries. The whirling disease parasite, which assumes 
various configurations during its bizarre life cycle, is the prime suspect 
among fishery biologists for the 90% decline in the Madison River 
rainbow trout population - from 3,300 fish per mile to only 300 fish per 
mile between 1991 and 1994. While other bodies of water in Montana 
have not seen fish populations decline as dramatically as the Madison, the 
parasite has been located at 28 sites, mostly in the southwestern corner 
of the state. 

This month's 'The Back Page" discusses the phenomenon of whirling 
disease and the approaches being taken to control the parasite before it 
destroys the trout population on Montana's blue ribbon trout streams. 


by Leanne Kurtz, Research Analyst 
Legislative Services Division 


Inside the gut of a river-bottom-dwelling tubifex worm, whirling disease 
parasite spores are undergoing a conversion into Triactinomyxon, the form 
of the whirling disease organism expelled by the worm during its digestive 
process. As it floats freely through the water in search of a host, 
Triactinomyxon is particularly fragile and vulnerable, able to survive only 
3-4 days on its own. Once attached to a fish's mucous cells, however, 
the invader moves rapidly through its victim's central nervous system, 
coming to rest in a young fish's cartilage where, some scientists believe, 
it begins to dine. As the young fish's degrading cartilage turns to bone, 
the parasite becomes entombed in the bone as millions of inert spores 
until the fish dies or is eaten by a predator. At this point, the spores 
are released into the environment (generally back into the river bottom), 
where studies have shown they can survive up to 30 years, until they 
are once again consumed by tubifex worms, thus launching the parasites 
on their fantastic journeys. The clamshell-like casing surrounding the M. 
cerebralis spore protects it from freezing, desiccation, crushing, extreme 
heat, and myriad other elements that few viable organisms could survive. 
In the tubifex worm's gut, the spore reacts with an enzyme to coax 
open the titanium-tough shell. 


The characteristic whirling disease behavior and disfigurations result either 
from inflamed cartilage turning to deformed bone or the host's immune 
system's response to the foreign assailant. A rainbow trout's immune 
system dispatches cells to the infected area (usually the head) to combat 
the parasite. The cells may crowd tissues and pinch the nerves that 
control the fish's equilibrium, causing it to chase its tail. Researchers 
believe that this whirling behavior makes the fish more vulnerable to 
predation and interferes with its ability to feed. 

While whirling disease takes its name from this behavior, researchers do 
not often witness it, since infected fish chase their tails only sporadically, 
like an electrical short makes lights flicker. Other, more commonly 
observed symptoms of the affliction include sunken foreheads, misshapen 
heads, and black tails, caused by irritation of pigment-controlling nerves. 


Whirling disease parasite spores arrived in America in the 1950s on a 
Danish boat carrying frozen fish. The inert spores withstood the freezing 
and subsequent grinding of the frozen trout to feed Pennsylvania hatchery 
fish. The hatchery fish became infected and the disease began its creep 
westward through transport of fish and stocking. Today, the disease is 
reported all over the country, and thanks to the spores' remarkable 
fortitude, is proving to be a stubborn adversary. 

While the ever-popular Madison River appears to have been hardest-hit by 
M. cerebralis, scientists have identified the disease in over 100 different 
locations on 28 different bodies of water in Montana, including the Ruby 
River, Poindexter Slough, the Jefferson River, the Clark Fork River, and 
the Swan River. In July, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and 
Parks (FWP) announced, to the dismay of anglers and biologists alike, that 
a yearling rainbow trout taken from a stretch of the Missouri River 
between Wolf Creek Bridge and Craig had tested positive for whirling 


Spread of whirling disease among Montana's watersheds has spawned a 
number of organizations to research the insidious organism, and funds to 
combat the disease are coming from the federal government at the behest 
of both Democrats and Republicans. Senator Max Baucus asked the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service to allocate $175,000 for the construction of a 
research facility at Montana State University, scheduled for completion in 
September. Senator Conrad Burns will be seeking $900,000 from the 
next federal budget to fund research at the Bozeman lab. 


Governor Marc Racicot's whirling disease task force, created by Executive 
Order in May of 1995, and the Whirling Disease Foundation in Bozeman 
are two more formidable partners on the front lines of Montana's crusade. 
Last June, the task force released a report summarizing research findings, 
emphasizing that whirling disease is a priority problem, and providing 
action plans to slow the epidemic. 


In its report, the task force asserted that "whirling disease is currently 
the most significant threat to wild, native and nonnative naturally 
reproducing trout populations in Montana". The task force also considers 
the disease to be a "significant threat to the Montana state, federal, tribal 
and private hatchery systems". The report recommended that efforts to 
control whirling disease focus on ways the disease is spread in the wild 
and the characteristics of survivors, rather than methods to directly attack 
the parasitic organism. The state of Utah attempted to rid its Fremont 
River drainage of the disease by simply poisoning the entire trout 
population every year from 1991 to 1994. In spite of Utah's draconian 
measures, whirling disease has managed to spread to other drainages in 
the state. 

"A strategic solution to the problem," Montana's task force concluded, 
"will need to reduce the impacts of the disease, probably with the 
understanding that it is a disease which cannot be eliminated from our 
state's waters." Brown trout and some rainbow trout survive infection 
with few obvious symptoms, and some fish in whirling disease-infested 
streams seem to completely avoid infection. The task force believes that 
a primary research strategy should be to study naturally resistant strains 
and species of trout, identifying techniques to maintain and enhance these 
populations. Stocking streams and rivers with naturally resistant fish from 
other rivers in Montana, or even from other states and countries is not 
outside the realm of possibility. This last-ditch option remains on the 
back burner, however, while biologists concentrate on restoring fish 
populations to pre-whirling disease numbers. 

Funding research, evaluating fishery management policies, and educating 
the public comprise the task force's three-pronged approach to stemming 
further expansion of the whirling disease parasite. 

1 . Research 

Much remains unknown about whirling disease, the extent of infestation, 
and the distribution of the tubifex worm. While rainbow trout populations 
in the Madison River have dramatically declined as a result of the 
parasite, researchers do not yet know how this translates to other rivers 




in the state and other species of fish. Variables such as genetics, 
specific river environments, and fish behavior all must be considered. The 
task force appointed a science subcommittee to identify research needs 
and recommend action. The subcommittee pinpointed five general research 
needs and associated actions. These needs and actions are summarized 
in the table below. 



Determine scope of whirling 
disease in Montana. 

Continue to identify sites 
with infected fish and track 
severity of infection; inves- 
tigate distribution of tubi- 
fex worms. 

Identify susceptible species 
of Montana fish. 

Conduct research activities in 
a wild trout laboratory; ex- 
pand field studies to include 
additional sites; study brown 
trout, grayling, cutthroat, 
whitefish, and Kokanee salmon; 
evaluate impacts of disease on 
fish populations other than 
Madison River. 

Study natural resistance to 

Through field studies and 
laboratory research, identify 
species that are biologically 
resistant and study behavior 
factors that may impact 

Examine tubifex worm and its 
role in parasite's life cycle. 

Compare habitat, genetic charac- 
teristics, and density of tubi- 
fex worms in infected and unin- 
fected streams. 

Pursue "dual-track" scientific 

Follow through on five specific 
study proposals the task force 
has received and endorsed; 
construct self-contained labora- 
tory dedicated to wild trout 
health issues. 

The science subcommittee and the task force, in conjunction with 
Montana State University, the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and 


private foundations have already begun to address many of these issues, 
and, as mentioned earlier, construction of the laboratory is well underway. 

2. Fishery Management 

The task force recommended in its report that "fisheries management 
should emphasize learning so that incrementally more informed management 
decisions may be made as time passes." The following three 

management goals are identified in the report: 

1 . Conserve surviving wild trout populations in infected waters. 

2. Control the spread of whirling disease. 

3. Minimize impacts of the disease on recreational fishing 

These goals are listed with the caveat that despite Montana's best efforts 
at control, the disease will likely spread to every watershed in the state 
with trout and tubifex worms. In spite of this dour prediction, the task 
force asserts that slowing the proliferation of the parasite will enable 
scientists to develop long-term solutions and methods of living with 
whirling disease. 

3. Education 

The task force charged FWP with the primary responsibility of public 
education and information dissemination, a critical link in controlling the 
spread of whirling disease, as humans have been identified as one of the 
parasite's vectors. M. cerebralis can cling to boats, anchors, axles, and 
waders, and the spore will survive for decades in dry mud. The 
common practices (now prohibited) of dumping fish guts in the water and 
using sculpins as bait release even more spores and provide the parasite 
with a free ride downriver. 

Effective communication will also help preserve Montana's reputation as 
a superior fishing destination and prevent significant loss of tourism dollars 
associated with a belief among anglers that fishing in Montana is forever 
ruined. The task force stressed that while whirling disease is a serious 
threat that must be addressed, the public should be informed that "the 
sky is not falling". 



In light of the discovery of whirling disease in Montana, the 1995 
Legislature adopted measures to better regulate private fish ponds and the 
transportation of live fish. FWP plans to approach the 1997 Legislature 
with at least three additional proposals intended to help control the spread 
of whirling disease: 

1. FWP will request authorization for an FTE to satisfy some of the 
research needs outlined in the task force's report. 

2. Currently, whirling disease has not been identified in any of 
Montana's fish hatcheries. Open springs feed two of these 
hatcheries - Big Spring near Lewistown and Giant Springs in 
Great Falls - and tubifex worms thrive in both springs. FWP 
plans to request $3 million to modify the hatcheries, change the 
water sources, and maintain the hatcheries' disease-free status. 

3. FWP is currently reviewing its private fish pond licensing program. 
The Department has licensed over 400 private ponds in the last 
two years, and statutes may need to be revised to reflect the 
latest research into the relationship between these ponds and 
whirling disease. 


A microscopic drama is played out every day in Montana's rivers and 
streams. Resembling scenes from a bad science fiction movie, 

Triactinomyxon spores invade the vulnerable bodies of young trout and eat 
away at developing bones. The results of this unwelcome assault are 
disfigurement, black tails, malformation of the spine, and impaired 
equilibrium. A fish unable to swim straight will not be able to escape 
its predators, nor will it be able to effectively feed. Fish that are able 
to control equilibrium may merely succumb to the stress of fighting 
serious infection. 

Efforts to control the disease are focusing not on eliminating M. cerebralis 
(although nobody would complain if the pest simply disappeared from the 
face of the earth), but rather on identifying and studying strains of fish 
that successfully resist infection or avoid the ill effects of infection. 
Researchers seem resigned to the fact that the whirling disease parasite 
is here to stay, but hope, through aggressive research and public 
education, that it does not decimate Montana's revered wild trout 





September 2, Labor Day, holiday 

September 9, Postsecondary Education Policy and Budget Committee, 
Room 104, 9 a.m. 

September 9 and 10, Juvenile Justice and Mental Health Study 
Commission, Room 437 

September 11 and 12, Subcommittee on the Foreign Investment 
Depository, Room 437 

September 12, Legislative Audit Committee 

September 12, EQC Compliance and Enforcement Subcommittee, Room 

September 12, EQC MEPA Subcommittee, Room 312-3, 1 p.m. 

September 12 and 13, Legislative Council, Room 104 

September 13, Environmental Quality Council, Lincoln 

September 13, Committee on Indian Affairs, Room 437, 9:30 a.m. 

September 16, Oversight Committee on Children and Families, Room 
437, 8 a.m. 

September 18, LFC/EQC Subcommittee on the Resource Indemnity 
Trust, Room 104 

September 19, Joint Legislative Finance Committee/Revenue Oversight 
Committee, Room 325, 9 a.m. 


September 19, Legislative Finance Committee, Room 104, 1 p.m. 
September 20, Legislative Finance Committee, Room 104, 8 a.m. 
September 19 and 20, Revenue Oversight Committee, Room 108 


October 7, Postsecondary Education Policy and Budget Committee, 
Room 104, 8 a.m. 

October 14, Columbus Day observed, holiday 


November 5, Election Day, holiday 

November 7 and 8, Committee on Public Employee Retirement 
Systems, Room 104, 8 a.m. 

November 28, Thanksgiving, holiday 

360 copies of this public document were published at an estimated 
cost of 55c per copy, for a total cost of $198.00, which includes 
$142.00 for printing and $56.00 for distribution. 







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