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EP 191990 

3 0864 1004 3877 2 


Persons associated with the Montana Advisory Council on Children and Youth (MACCY) 
work to help bring about a quality life for Montana children and youth. 

In the process, it became evident that many Montanans need help to overcome their "awe 
and apathy barriers" and to develop their potential for Involvement. Then they can work 
constructively with such decision-makers as: school board members, town and city councils, 
county commissioners, state legislators and officials in local, state and national agencies 
of government. 

Therefore, through the help of the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, this 
publication has been prepared for you by . . . 

Opal Winebrenner, Member 
Montana Advisory Council on 
Children and Youth (MACCY) 


Gerry Fenn, Community Planning Coordinator, 
Children and Youth Programs 

MACCY member, Robin Evans, invented the logo and designed the cover photo for this 

Information provided is based upon work done by MACCY members. Opal Winebrenner 
and Jerry Dalton, who have monitored the Montana Legislature on children and youth issues. 
Ideas also came from MACCY persons who participated in educational visits and action 
during the 1972 Montana Constitutional Convention and during several sessions of the Mon- 
tana Legislature. 

Several other persons in MACCY and in government have generously and carefully reviewed 
the material so it would be as helpful and accurate as possible. Since procedures change 
rapidly, please make constant inquiries and pass the information along. 

Anyone wishing to reproduce all or part of this material is welcome to do so if credit is 
given to the Montana Advisory Council on Children and Youth. Additional copies are available 
from the . . . 

Children and Youth Unit 


P.O. Box 1723 

Helena, Montana 59601 

This handbook was published in November, 1973. 

table of contents 


Foreword 1 

Are We Kept Uninformed? 3 

Introduction 4 

The Basics 5 

Contacting Your Legislator 6 

Means of Communication 8 

Letter-Writing 8 

Telegrams 9 

By Telephone 9 

Buttonholing: An Opportunity to Speak 

Your Piece In Person 10 

Legislative Leadership 11 

Presiding Officers 11 

Senate Leadership 11 

House of Representatives Leadership 11 

The Committee System 12 

The Committee Hearing 12 

Chairman 14 

Testifying 14 

Lobbying 16 

Who Can Lobby? 16 

Voting 17 

Methods of Voting 17 

Pairing of Votes 17 

What Can I Do? 18 

Law-Making 19 

How a Bill Becomes Law 22 

Sources of Information 25 

Terms 27 

are we 
being kept 
uninformed ? 

The function of leadership is to structure issues so that people may under- 
stand them — then decide. 

'Knowledge is power. In every aspect of life, from the simplest to the most 
complex, those who possess information can share it — and therefore 
share power — or they can hoard information and thereby limit the 
exercise of power and decision-making to themselves . . . 

'In voluntary organizations, schools and communities, the need has never 
been greater for leaders who are willing to accept their responsibility 
to clarify the issues and to let those most affected share in determining 
what to do about them ... A concomitant responsibility falls upon 
the citizens — or members — to try to understand and to make wise 

'The quickest way to exclude people, be they members or citizens, from 
decision-making and power is to keep them uninformed. And the quick- 
est way for citizens or members to exclude themselves is to neglect 
the information and opportunities which are theirs." 

Alice L. Beeman. General Director 
erican Association of University Women 


The elections are over and another Legislative Assembly has begun, and 

here you are at the State Capitol. Scores of people are milling about, 

there are numerous groups engaged in small talk. National Guardsmen, indi- 

viduals loaded with reams of papers, citizens, students, lobbyists — 

il— r all confusion to the first-time visitor. 

Too often individuals who visit the Legislature and decide to 
spend the day will sit in the balcony galleries 
wondering what is going on, and pompously decide 
the legislators must not be doing a thing as they 
sit with their feet on a desk, stuffing down a 
hamburger and reading a newspaper seemingly oblivious to their 
surroundings. Full of misconceptions and with little understanding of 
the process, these people return home disgusted at how their tax money is being spent. 
This Legislative Handbook addresses itself to the need to provide basic information on 
Montana's legislative process so that individual citizens can take a positive and active role 
in the legislative process of their State. The 1972 Montana Constitution was framed with 
the goal in mind that citizens of our State must be given the opportunity to play an active 
and decisive role in determining the course toward which our State will head. 

Montanans must now make a concerted effort to realize our individual potential by contribut- 
ing in various ways our opinions and views to affect the legislative process, and in turn 
the whole governmental system. 

Individual citizens can make an impression on our State — the opportunities are there 
— we need only take advantage of them. It's our responsibility, and if we fail to take it, 
then we will not have any right to criticize the results of our apathy. 

IS commonly said that in a democracy, 
decisions are made by a majority of the people 

It is not true. 

Decisions are made by the majority of those 
who make themselves heard . . . 
a very different thing." 






the basics 

The Senate and House of Representatives Chambers 
are located on the third floor of the Capitol Building 
and are connected by a lobby containing two black- 
boards, one for each house. The blackboards are used 
to post committee hearing schedules. The hearings 
and meetings are listed under the appropriate commit- 
tee headings, in addition to the bills to be considered and the time and location for the 

In 1973 to find out which bills would be considered by each house during the day's business 
session, you could request a copy of the Daily Agenda from the respective Sergeant-at-Arms 
Offices located near each chamber. In current efforts to reorganize and centralize related 
functions under specific offices, this Daily Agenda will be available from the Secretary 
of the Senate or the Chief Clerk of the House. If none are available, you will have to consult 
the bill boards located inside the two chambers and easily viewed from the balcony areas 
on the fourth floor. Information as to the subject matter of bills being considered may 
be obtained from the Secretary of the Senate or the Chief Clerk of the House. 

In the House of Representatives, the bills to be considered are listed under the voting 
machines located to the left and right of the Speaker of the House's rostrum. You will 
also find the time that the House will convene for the business session posted. Since conven- 
ing times can vary from day to day and between houses, it is necessary to check the times 
if you wish to observe the opening of a session. In the Senate Chambers, the bills to be 
considered will be posted on a large blackboard located near the Secretary of the Senate's 
rostrum, along with the convening time. 

Copies of any bills you may wish to look over can be purchased in the basement of the 
Capitol at the Mail Room for a small fee. It would also be helpful to secure copies of 
Status Sheets for both houses, which are published daily and are obtainable at the Mail 
Room. Status Sheets contain a list of all the bills introduced with a concise summary of 
the essence of each bill, and its status for that day, that is, whether it is in committee, 
on second reading, being engrossed, and so forth. 

You have free access to the balcony seating areas located on the fourth floor, from which 
to observe the business proceedings and other activities of both houses. You will be requested 
not to take camera shots of the Legislature in session if your camera uses flashbulbs as 
this disturbs the legislators on the floor. It is permissible to eat and drink in this area, 
but there is to be no smoking. 

If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask someone — pages, guides, legislators, 
the Information Desk, the Sergeant-at-Arms Offices — everyone is willing to help. 



The most crucial and effective time to contact your 

legislator(s) is before he or she is even elected to office. 

Legislative candidates are more inclined to listen to 

you and discuss their feelings on issues before elections 

because of their desire to get out among the people to 

secure support, and get a general concensus of what the 

public is thinking and where their priorities are. 

Such discussion will give you, the voter, a much broader and informed basis to choose 

whom you'll support on election day, and there is also the possibility that one of your 

concerns may become proposed legislation sponsored by your representative. 

Contacting legislators at home before they are elected, after elected, before and after the 
legislative sessions, will give both of you a more relaxed atmosphere to talk over issues. 
While at the Legislature, most legislators have only a few minutes to talk to their constituents, 
and both parties will be annoyed by the inevitable interruptions. This is not to say that 
you should not contact your legislators during the legislative session. But only to serve 
as a reminder that if you have a particular concern that you would like to see action taken 
on, take the initial steps before the legislative session begins. Research and writing proposed 
legislation takes time, so to insure a good bill with the best possibilities of passing into 
law, action needs to be started before the sessions. 

Contacting legislators before the legislative session will also give you an opportunity to 
interview them on their feelings on specific issues and keep track of their responses. During 
the legislative session, you will find such data very useful in showing the individual legislator 
what he said a few weeks ago, compared to the action he is now taking in regard to a 
certain issue. 

At Helena 

Seating charts of both chambers will be available from the Information Desk located in 
the Capitol Rotunda or by requesting one from the Sergeant-at-Arms offices near the two 
chambers. If you arrive before the houses convene for business, you are free to enter 
the two chambers and by utilizing your seating chart, you can locate your individual represen- 
tative or senator. If someone is guarding the chamber entrances, it is advisable to ask 
permission before entering. 



One hour before the houses convene for the day's business session, 
a sign will be posted at the entrances stating, "One Hour Rule 
in Effect." This means that no one except legislators and authorized 
persons are allowed free access to the chamber floors. The reason- 
ing behind this rule is to allow legislators some time before conven- 
ing to organize and prepare for the business session without being 
interrupted by lobbyists and others. 

If you wish to see your legislator while this rule is in effect or when the houses are in 
session, write a note including your name and hometown, and briefly state your reason 
for seeing the legislator. Pages, who are identifiable by their name badges, are usually 
easy to find and you may request one to take your note into the chamber for your legislator. 
If you should be unable to locate a page, go to the respective Sergeant-at-Arms Office 
and ask for one to take your note in. 

Your legislator will either come out to speak with you, write a return note, or request that 
you be allowed onto the chamber floor. Unless you are escorted by a page or a legislator, 
you will be requested to leave the floor. 

If your legislator in the House of Representatives desires, he may ask you to remain on 
the floor with him, either sitting next to him at his desk or in a seat along the sides of 
the chamber. The Senate usually does not allow this, but as rules may vary from session 
to session one should always ask. An opportunity to sit on the floor during a session should 
be taken, as it allows you a chance to observe how business is carried out on a first-hand 
basis with your legislator close by to answer your questions. If you do not receive the 
opportunity to sit on the floor, you can observe all business proceedings of both houses 
from the balcony seating areas located on the fourth floor. 

For a half an hour after a house has adjourned its business session for the day, again 
no one but the legislators and authorized personnel are allowed on the chamber floors. 

At Home In Helena 

If you should wish to contact your legislator at his Helena home address, a list of addresses 
and phone numbers can be obtained by requesting a copy of the Montana Directory published 
with the compliments of the Mountain Bell Company. Check at the Information Desk to 
find out how these copies can be obtained. 

means of communication. 

letter writing 

Letters are an excellent and inexpensive method through which to contact 
your legislator and let him know your feelings and opinions about 
specific legislation and issues. Legislators do read their mail and need the input of individual 
citizens to guarantee that the resulting legislation will be that which the people want. 

Knowing when to write, whom to write and what to say are the most important factors 
in effective letter-writing. 

Some important points to remember are: 
A. The Proper Address 

1. Address your envelope: Senator (or Representative) 

State Capitol 

Helena, Montana 59601 

2. Address your letter: The Honorable- 

Senate Chambers (or House of Representatives) 
State Capitol 
Helena, Montana 

Dear Senator 

Dear Representative. 

Who To Write 

1. First write to the Chief Sponsor of the particular bill you are interested in, 

2. Then, send letters to the Committee Chairman and all the members of the Commit- 
tee that will be studying the bill, 

3. Lastly, write your own legislators. 

When To Write 

1. Write the Chief Sponsor, the Committee chairman and Committee members 
before the Committee hearing on the bill takes place. 

2. Write your own legislator before the bill reaches the Floor on Second Reading. 
Most debate on a bill will occur on Second Reading, and usually if a bill passes 
Second Reading it will also pass third reading. 

What To Say 

1 . Write your letter as an individual. 

2. Identify the bill with which you are concerned by number and title. 

3. Give the Chief Sponsor's name and the general essence of the bill. 

4. Indicate your position on the bill, stating briefly your reasons for asking his 
support or opposition on the measure. 

5. Offer documented information for your case. 

6. Request his consideration of your views. 

7. Include your name, title or position and return address. 

Form letters, duplicated letters and one letter with many people signing their names 
will receive little or no consideration. If you care enough about the issue, you 
should write your own letter. 

Be courteous and gracious, and remember to thank your legislator for taking time 
to read your letter. 


For a fast and concise method to get your opinions known, send telegrams. 
Use essentially the same pointers as suggested for letter-writing, only be more 
brief and to the point. 

by telephone 

In 1973 to telephone your legislator while he was at the Capitol, you could call the Legislative 
Operator and request to speak to your representative. A page was sent out from the Operator's 
Office to see if your legislator was in the chamber, or available to come to the phone. 
If he was not able to come to the phone or could not be found, you could leave a message 
that would be delivered to his desk by a page. As it was very easy for these messages 
to become misplaced, it was a good idea to try to call again later, if you urgently needed 
to reach him. 

Under consideration is a procedure whereby legislators will be reached by message only, 
unless an emergency exists. Plans include installation of more private WATS lines for legis- 
lator's use. This will make it more convenient to return calls. 

The best way to phone your legislator is to make a "person-to-person" call to the particular 
representative you wish to speak to. This type of call is not charged to you unless you 
speak directly to the person you requested. If your legislator cannot be contacted, you 
are allowed to leave a message for him and will not be charged for the call. 

It is also possible to call the appropriate Committee meeting room, if you know that your 
legislator will be present there during a committee hearing or meeting. Many times if a 
committee meeting is being held, you will be requested to call back, as it is usual practice 
not to disturb or interrupt a meeting. However, if you leave a message at a committee 
room, you have a much better chance of it reaching your legislator. It is more likely that 
the legislator will call back immediately after the meeting is completed, using the committee 
room phone. If the call is very urgent or an emergency, your call will be allowed through 

Even if the committee is not in session, you can call the committee room of the committee 
that you know your legislator is a member of and leave a message with that committee's 
secretary. She will then give the message to him when he comes to attend a meeting. 

It is important to realize that legislative phone numbers are subject to change from session 
to session, as the phones are removed after a Legislative Assembly adjourns. If you wish 
to call a particular committee room, for instance, it will be advisable to contact the Legislative 
Operator first and request the correct phone number. 


1. Do your homework. Be as fully info 

rmed about the bill 

as possible. 

2. Know what arguments the oppositio 

n has. 

3. Anticipate questions. 





Do not interrupt if the 

Legislator is talking with someone else — 


— no matter m 

how anxious you are 

talk with him. 


SMILE!! Introduce yo 

jrself and tell him where you are from. 


State your reason for 

engaging him in conversation. 


If the Legislator asks 
the answer to him. 

a question you cannot answer, assure hi 

m that 

you will get 


Have written material 
but don't push. 

concerning your position available. Offer 

t if he 

s interested, 


Respect his view. His convictions may be as strong as yours. 


THANK him for speaking with you. 

Ruth Simerly 


legislative leadership 

For each Legislative Assembly, the Democratic and Republican legislative party caucuses 
meet to choose leadership officers for the coming term. In both the Senate and the House 
of Representatives, which ever political party elects the most members to a certain house 
becomes the majority party of that house. 

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives have a Majority Leader and a Majority 
Whip, who are chosen by members of the majority party caucus in the respective house. 
The Majority Leader, essentially an administrative official, is responsible for planning and 
controlling the order of business to be considered by the house. This is carried out from 
a party-oriented point of view. The Majority Whip assists the Majority Leader as needed, 
and is responsible for securing the attendance of the party members for important legislative 
votes and informs the members of the wishes of the party leadership. 

Both houses also have a Minority Leader and a Minority Whip, chosen by the minority 
party caucus, who carry out essentially the same tasks as the majority leadership with 
the exception that they do not possess either the power or the influence of the majority. 

Senate Leadership 

President of the Senate 
President Pro Tem 

Majority Leader 
Majority Whip 

Minority Leader 
Minority Whip 


House of Representatives Leadership ■ 

Speaker of the House I 

Speaker Pro Tem ■ 

Majority Leader m 

Majority Whip m 

Minority Leader H 

Minority Whip _^^^^^^^^^^B 

Presiding Officers 

In the Senate, the President presides over the Senate proceedings with the President Pro 
Tem, serving in his absence. In the House of Representatives, the Speaker of the House 
and the Speaker Pro Tem are the presiding officials. All four officers are chosen from 
the membership of their respective houses by the majority caucus. 

The presiding officers have numerous responsibilities including such areas as: to interpret 
and apply rules when there is a question of proper procedure, to refer introduced bills 
to standing committees for study and action, and to name members to any special committees. 
(Note: New functions and responsibilities are being considered for these presiding officers. 
Check on it.) 

Presiding officers can be powerful and influential individuals depending on their personality 
and the amount of respect they can command from their respective house memberships. 


committee system 

To the observer of a legislative business session, 
it often appears that the legislators are obliv- 
ious to their surroundings only coming to life when 
required to vote. It is very easy to be filled with 
misconceptions concerning the Legislature by only 
attending a business session. 

The majority of legislative work is carried out 
through the Committee System, as becomes very 

apparent by attending committee hearings and meetings. 

There are four basic types of committees: 

A. Standing Committees: permanent groups that continue from one session of the 

Legislature to another. 

B. Select Committees: consist of a special or temporary group created for a particular 


C. Joint Committees: consist of committees composed of members drawn from both 

the House of Representatives and the Senate. 

D. Conference Committees: special committees generally composed of a part of 

the membership of a House committee and a part of the membership of its 
counterpart committee in the Senate which meets for the particular purpose of 
settling differences in a bill passed by one of the houses and amended by the 
other house. The purpose of this conference is to iron out differences and reach 
a common bill acceptable to both the Senate and the House. 

Each standing committee is assigned jurisdiction over specified subjects of legislation. 
For example, the Education Committee will have jurisdiction over all bills introduced related 
to education such as curriculum and teacher certification. 

Every legislator is a member of at least two committees with some members serving on 
more. Each committee has a chairman, usually of the majority party, who presides over 
the meetings and hearings. A vice-chairman is named who presides in the absence of the 

Under the 1972 Montana Constitution, all Montana citizens have the right to attend any 
committee meeting or hearing. This opens up the legislative process, allowing the citizenry 
to keep tabs on the legislators and the Legislature. 

The Committee Hearing 

To aid in clarifying the procedure of a committee hearing, it will be helpful to go through 
the process with a hypothetical example. "The bill to be considered is House Bill 2189 
(HB-2189) which would lessen the number of compulsory hours in a school day. The bill 
has been introduced in the House of Representatives and assigned to the Education Standing 
Committee for further study and recommendations. 

The Education Standing Committeeof the House of Representatives has called a committee 
hearing for Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. The Committee Room is set up with a long table in the 
middle of the room around which the members of the Committee will sit. The chairman, 
vice-chairman and the secretary are usually seated together at one end of the table. Some 
chairs are provided around the sides of the room for the use of testifiers and observers. 
On the table for each Committee member is a booklet containing various information 
and copies of the bills that are to be considered by the Committee. 

"Before the meeting is brought to order, all those people who wish to testify will sign 
in with the Committee secretary. The Committee secretary supplies the testifiers with a 
paper on which they fill in their name, whom they represent, which bill(s) they are interested 
in and whether they are "for" or "against" the bill. If a testifier is presenting written testimony, 
it may be attached to or written on this sheet. These sheets are returned to the secretary 
who puts them in order as to bill number and those in support and those in opposition. 

"The Committee chairman calls the meeting to order, the secre- 
tary calls the roll and the official business begins. The bills 
to be discussed are usually taken in the order they were 
posted on the Committee Hearing-Meeting Schedule Board. 
The Committee chairman can, however, alter this sequence. 
Due to this possibility it is always essential to be present 
at the beginning of the meeting or hearing even though your 
bill is at the bottom of the list of those to be considered. 

"The first bill on the agenda, House Bill (HB) 2189, would lessen the number of compulsory 
hours in a school day. The Sponsor of the bill is called upon to introduce his bill with 
a concise summary of its contents and intent. 

"Next the proponents or supporters of the bill are asked to present their testimony, and 
after them come the opponents or non-supporters who present their testimony against 
the bill. When all the testimony is completed, the Sponsor of the bill is allowed a short 
time to present rebuttal to any of the opponents' testimony and clarify any points. The 
Committee chairman now allows the Committee members to ask questions of the Sponsor 
and the testifiers." 

After the questioning is completed, the Committee may decide: -^^^^^ 

A. To take action on the Bill immediately giving it a "Do Pass" or a "Do Not Pass ' 
recommendation, thus putting it out of Committee so that it may be considered 
by the Committee of the Whole on Second Reading. 

B. To amend the bill. 


C. May postpone any action until a later date. 

May call for future study with action to be taken at a later date utilizing any new 
information found. 

E. May continue with the bills remaining to be heard. 

When all the bills are heard or time runs out, the Committee may move to adjourn until 
the next regularly scheduled meeting, or may move to meet again before the next regular 
meeting, or may dissolve itself into executive session. 

The executive session of a Committee meeting is the time for the Committee to conduct 
more private business than is dealt with in a committee hearing. It is during the executive 
session that the committee members can have a more informal discussion of the bills being 
considered, can take final action on bills, and do whatever is needed to keep the Committee 
and its responsibilities in order. Under the 1972 Montana Constitution, Article V, Section 
10(3) all sessions of the Legislature, of the Committee of the Whole, all Committee meetings, 
and all hearings are open to the public. Therefore executive sessions are open to the public 
to attend. 

It is essential to the understanding of the Committee system 
_l_ -^* j,^_^^__ to realize how powerful the Committee Chairman can be. By 

CnOll IllCiri being able to determine the sequence of the bills 

to be considered, the date on which they will be considered, 
how much time will be granted for testimony, the sequence of the testifiers and so on, 
he can sway the Committee opinion one way or the other. 

As the house usually concurs with the Committee's recommendation on a certain piece 
of legislation, it is easy to see that the fate of many bills is determined in the Committee 
meeting. This is why much of the voting that takes place during the houses' business sessions 
appears to the observer as slap-dash. Most of the legislators through their Committee work, 
recommendations from other Committees and so on have already made their decisions 
before coming to the business session. Most need only press their voting buttons "aye" 
or "nay." 


Presenting testimony is an essential method to bring facts, opin- 
ions, views and statistics directly to the legislators. Testimony aids 
the legislative process by one, providing information on certain 
areas that legislators rarely have the time to research on their own; 
and two, keeping legislators aware of the public's feelings on cer- 
tain legislation. 

Anyone can give testimony and it need not be a "scary" experience. 
To eliminate any fears and become more comfortable in the commit- 
tee hearing process and environment, it is advisable to observe 
others testifying in various committee hearings and see first-hand how it is done. 

To be an effective testifier, it is of utmost importance to remember to be brief and concise 
in your statement. Nothing tunes out legislators more quickly than a long, boring and repetiti- 
ous presentation. 

Testimony may be presented in a variety of methods. Written testimony can be presented 
to a Committee for their consideration with copies provided for each member of the Commit- 
tee in addition to one for the Committee secretary to keep on file. Such testimony may 
be presented to the Committee by hand or if you are at home and cannot be present, it 
can be mailed to the Committee. It is also possible to present written testimony, and then 
read through it with the Committee or give a brief summary of the material contained within 
when giving out the copies to the Committee at a hearing. 

Spoken testimony is another method and it is permissible to write out your testimony and 
read it to the Committee, or to speak with the aid of notes. It will be up to you to use 
the method that you feel the most comfortable with. 

If when presenting testimony, you would like to use visual aids by all means do so if it 
will make your presentation more effective and understandable. On some occasions films, 
slides and even field trips have been allowed. It will be necessary to make arrangements 
with the Committee chairman if films and so on are to be shown or field trips planned, 
as it will be his decision as to whether the Committee can afford the time that would be 

Always when presenting testimony, whether written or oral, REMEMBER: ^l^^l 

1 1. State your name, where you are from and whom you represent at the beginning. 

} 2. State the number of the bill and its sponsor. 

\ 3. Be concise and to the point on why you support or oppose the legislation. 

- 4. If speaking, speak so all the Committee members can hear you and speak at a 
f moderate pace. 

I 5. If you use statistics or any special data, be sure you can document your sources 
f of information for the Committee. 

6. When completed, thank the Committee for listening and offer to answer any questions 
! concerning your testimony. 


Lobbying is an integral element of the legislative process, 
playing an important role in our State governmental system. 
Essentially lobbying is a method which people with special 
concerns, needs, views and opinions use to persuade public officials, especially legislators, 
to support policies, measures and legislation that will benefit their individual interests the 

By providing information about certain areas, problems, issues, the feasibility of proposed 
solutions and most importantly how the legislator's constituents are reacting, the lobbyist 
can provide vital information that the individual legislator rarely has time to research on 
his own. Through testimony given in Committee hearings, the lobbyist broadens both his 
basis for dispersing information and the number of people he reaches to make aware of 
his concerns. 

Lobbying is a legitimate function with the stigma surrounding the label "lobbyist " mainly 
based on instances where individual lobbyists have proven to be less than ethical in their 
means of persuasion. 'Wining and dining, " giving false and overly biased data, threatening 
to work against a particular legislator at re-election time are a few of the methods that 
have not served to improve the image of the "lobbyist. " 

Aside from such maneuverings, however, lobbyists do provide essential services for the 
legislative process, and remind the legislators of what the public is thinking and what type 
of legislation the public wants. 

Who Can Lobby? 

Any citizen has the right to lobby professionally who is of adult age (in Montana the legal 
age is 18 years), of good moral character and a citizen of the United States. This does 
not bar other citizens, including high-school-age persons, from testifying and making their 
views known to legislators. 

A person wishing to register as a lobbyist must fill out an application form for a license 
obtained from the Secretary of State's Office. A license is issued upon acceptance of the 
application and the payment of the $10.00 license fee. 

Under the Lobbyist Registration and Licensing Law, it is important to note these sections: 

43-802. Definitions, 
phrases shall have the 
to them : 

The following words and 
neaning: respectively ascribed 

CI) Lobbying. The practice of promoting or op- 
posing the introduction or enactment of legislation 
before the legislature or the members thereof by any 
person other than a member of the legislature or a 
public official acting in his official capacity. 

(2) Lobbyist. Any person who engages in the 
practice of lobbying for hire e.Kcept in the manner au- 
thorized by section 4,3-807. Lobbying for hire shall 
include activities of any officers, agents, attorneys or 
employees of any principal who are paid a regular 
salary or retained by such principal and whose duties 

include lobbying. When a person is only reimbursed 
for his personal living and travel expenses, he shall 
not be considered to be lobbying for hire. Nothing 
in this section shall be construed to deprive any citizen 
not lobbying for hire of his constitutional right to 
communicate with members of the legislature. 

43-807. Persons not required to be licensed or reg- 
istered. Any person who limits his lobbying solely 
to appearances before legislative committees of either 
house and registers his appearance on the records of 
such committee in writing, shall not be required to 
be licensed as a lobbyist, pay a license fee, or register 
with the secretary of state. 


To many of the observers of the Legislature, the voting process 

is confusing and complicated. Both the House of Representatives 

and the Senate have lighted automatic tabulation voting machines 

that are visible to legislators and observers. The membership of 

the respective house is listed alphabetically on the voting board, 

so that it is possible to view how each individual has voted. A 

green light means an "aye" or yes vote, and a red light means — "\/Qx\ / 

a "no" vote on a certain piece of legislation. I'^A^ /\^ 

When a bill is brought before the Committee of the Whole for a /''^f A 

vote on Second Reading, the bill number is lighted above the voting 
machine, for example, HB-234. If the bill number is followed by an "A", this means that 
the vote is on an amendment to the bill and will be lighted as HB-234 A. All amendments 
to a bill must be voted on before the final vote on the bill in question. This explains why 
at times it seems that the legislators are voting and voting on the same bill without passing 
or rejecting it. The final vote on a bill such as HB-234 will include only those amendments 
which received a majority of votes and thus become a part of the bill. 

A vote on Third Reading is only on the final version of the bill, as adopted by the Committee 
of the Whole. 

Methods of Voting 

The following are the basic voting methods used by the Legislature: 

A. Voice Vote: the members in turn call out "ayes" and "noes" and the presiding 
officer judges which side has prevailed. 

B. Division or Rising Vote: Any member who doubts the results of the voice vote 
may ask for this vote in which the two groups rise alternately and are counted. 

C. Roll Call Vote: is taken on non-substantive questions and the names of the members 
shall be called alphabetically unless an electrical voting system is used. 

D. Recorded Vote: is taken on substantive questions, and the membership are recorded 
by name as voting "aye" or "no." 

Pairing of Votes 

Pairing of votes is a rather complicated procedure that basically provides a method for 
absent members to vote on legislation. When a member of the Legislature knows ahead 
of time that he is going to be absent from a business session of his respective house, 
and he still wishes to have his vote on certain legislation taken, he pairs votes. 

Before leaving, the legislator goes to the proper official which is usually the Majority or 
Minority Leader, depending upon party affiliation. The pair is filed with the Secretary of 
the Senate or the Chief Clerk of the House at the time of the vote. This official supplies 
him with the necessary forms to be filled out. He then fills out the form with his name, 
the legislation he wishes to vote on and his vote, either "aye" or "no". 

For example. Senator Smith wishes to vote "no" on SB-449. After filling out his pair vote 
form, he must find a member of his house, the Senate, who will be present during the 
session in question. The legislative member that will be present must want to vote opposite 
Senator Smith. Senator Smith finds that Senator Jones will be willing to pair vote, and 
will be voting "aye" on SB-449. Senator Jones now fills in the same form stating he will 
vote "aye" on SB-449 and signs his name. The forms are turned back in to the Secretary 
of the Senate. LIBRARY 


The following day Senator Smith must return to his hometown to attend a funeral, and 
it is this day that SB-449 is to be considered by the Senate. When the final vote on SB-449 
comes up, before the voting is totaled, the Secretary of the Senate will announce the pair 
votes stating, "Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones pair on SB-449 with Smith voting "no" and Jones 
voting "aye". After all the pair votes are read, the votes showing on the voting machines 
are totalled. 

Paired votes do not appear on the voting machines. So even though Senator Jones is 
present, he does not push his voting button. The Secretary of the Senate will then announce 
the final vote totals, including the pair votes. Thus the announced vote will not coincide 
with the total appearing on the voting machine. The same process occurs in the House 
of Representatives with the Clerk of the House announcing the pair votes and the final 

what can i do? 

* Begin to seek out new blood who can bring fresh ideas to the next Legislative 
Assembly. It's never too early to begin campaigning. 

ir Read the newspapers and check during the interim between sessions on what 
is happening. 

* Write letters to the Editor of your local newspapers on various issues. Create 
public awareness. 

* Check the voting records of your legislators and let them know that you are 
aware of how they voted. 

* Meet with your legislators when they return home and express your opinions. 
By contacting your legislator before the next session, there is a better chance 
that some of your ideas may result in proposed legislation. 

ir When a Legislative Session begins, request that your newspaper publish commit- 
tee hearing schedules. 

* Attend committee hearings and meetings — testify when you really want your 
views known. 

if MOST OF ALL, keep tabs on your legislators and what they are doing. Those 
not doing their job can only be prevented from returning by you. 

Ham iMakinn 

"Law Making" follows the basic step-by-step procedure that a bill follows from its introduction 
through its passage into law. In this example, the bill originates in the House of Representa- 
tives. A bill originating in the Senate would follow the same steps, only with Senate and 
House of Representatives reversed. 

Introduction of the Bill: A bill is introduced in the House of Rep- 
resentatives by one of the members. It may also be initiated by 
one of the Legislative Committees. 


First Reading of the Bill: The Clerk of the House of Representatives assigns a 
number to the bill and reads the number, author and title of the bill before the 

Referred to the Appropriate Committee: The presiding officer, the 
Speaker of the House of Representatives*, refers the bill to the approp- 
riate committee for study and recommendations. Copies of the bill are 
reproduced and made available to the legislative members and the pub- 
lic. (*ln the Senate, the President.) 


Committee Hearing on the Bill: After consideration of the bill, the Committee may 

conduct public hearings at which time interested persons have the opportunity 

M I' to speak "for" or "against" the proposed legislation. The Committee then submits 

a standing committee report. The Committee may recommend one of the following 


a. "Recommend bill 'do pass'." 

b. "Recommend bill do not pass." 

c. "Recommend bill pass as amended'. " 

d. "Recommend a substitute bill." 


If a favorable committee report is adopted, then the bill is reproduced, 
including any amendments and is placed on the calendar to await further 

Second Reading: The bill is considered by the entire chamber acting as a "Committee 
of the Whole." At this time the bill is considered section by section (merely by 
section number), and is debated. Any member may propose Amendments to the 
bill. Approval or adoption of the Committee report prepares the bill for final passage. 
Rejection of a favorable Committee report means killing the bill. Other action to 
kill the bill may take the form of "indefinite postponement." 

Engrossment: The bill is rechecked for errors and is put in final form 
including all amendments. 

Third Reading: The House of Representatives votes on final passage of the bill. 
If the bill passes, it is sent to the Senate. If the bill fails to pass, it may be referred 
to Committee for further study or may receive no further consideration. 


First Reading in the Senate: The bill is referred to the proper 
Committee by the President of the Senate*, who is the presiding 
officer. (*ln the House of Representatives, the Speaker of the 

Committee Hearing and Report: If a favorable Committee report is adopted, the bill is 
placed on the Calendar to await further consideration. 

r Second Reading: The bill is considered by the entire chamber acting 
as a "Committee of the Whole." The bill is debated and can be 


Third Reading: The Senate votes on final passage of the bill. If the bill fails 
to pass, it may be referred back to Committee or may receive no further 
consideration. If the bill passes both houses in identical form, it is Enrolled 
(reproduced in final form free from all errors) , signed by the presiding officers 
of both houses and sent to the Governor. 

If the bill passes the Senate in different form and the House of 
Representatives accepts the change(s), then the bill is enrolled, 
signed by the presiding officers and sent to the Governor. 

If the House of Representatives rejects the changes. 


the bill may be sent to a Conference Committee com- 
posed of members of both houses. 

^^ which tries to iron out differences or reach an acceptable compromise. 

If the Conference Committee reaches an agreement, 

the Committee report is sent to both 
-^2^ houses for their consideration. 

If the Conference Committee does not reach an agreement, the bill may receive no further 
consideration, or a new Conference Committee may be named. 

If both houses accept the compromises, the bill is enrolled, signed 
by the presiding officers and sent to the Governor. 

The bill becomes a law if the Governor signs within five days after it has reached his office 
during the Legislative Session. If the Governor does not sign or veto the bill within the 
five days after its delivery to him and the Legislature is in session (25 days if the Legislature 
has adjourned), the bill becomes law. 

Should the Governor veto the bill, he shall return it to the Legislature with his reasons 
for doing so. If two-thirds of the members approve the bill, after it has been vetoed by 
the Governor, the bill shall become law. 

When the Legislature is not in session and the Governor vetoes a bill, the Governor will 
return the bill with his reasons for rejecting it to the Secretary of State. The Secretary 
will mail a copy of the veto message to each member of the Legislature. The Legislature 
may then reconvene to reconsider any bill so vetoed. 

The 1972 Constitution eliminates the Governor's previous power of the "pocket veto." The 
"pocket veto" allowed the Governor to kill or veto a bill merely by not signing it within 
the prescribed number of days allowed him for such action. 

how a bill becomes law 

The passage of a bill into law is a complicated proce- 
dure and can at times seem to be an endless maze 
of alternatives. An educational device, the role play, 
can be utilized to explain the bill passage proce- 
dure and through visual aids can make it more easily 

"How A Bill Becomes Law" follows a House bill 
through introduction until its passage into law, 
including the role-playing of a committee hear- 
ing on the bill. A bill originating in the Senate 
would follow the same steps only with Senate and 
House of Representatives reversed. This role play does not present all the possible alternatives 
that can occur, so for the complete procedure it will be helpful to refer to the section 
"Law Making." 

This role play can be used in the classroom, at meetings, as a demonstration — anywhere 
there is confusion as to the law-making procedure that occurs at our Legislature. 


A. Scatter the following signs, with strings attached, facedown on the floor throughout 
the area. 

Mr. Speaker (of the House of Representatives) 

Clerk (of the House of Representatives) 

House of Representatives 

House Committee Members 

Mr. President (of the Senate) 


Senate Committee Members 

Telephone Calls 

Lobbyist for the Bill 
Lobbyist against the Bill 
Testifier for the Bill 
Testifier against the Bill 

Secretary of State 

Participants go to a sign, stand there, pick it up, put the sign around their neck 
and stay in the place where the sign was located. 

B. Provide these two signs to persons who have been selected ahead of time: 
Sponsor of the Bill The Bill 

Narrator: Tell those who are "Letters" and "Telephone Calls ' to try to get to the Legislators 
throughout the whole process. "Letters" and "Telephone Calls ' can be both for and against 
the Bill. 

1. "Sponsor (of the Bill), will you take the Bill to the Speaker of the House (of Representa- 

tives)? ' 

Sponsor: "Mr. Speaker, this is an act requiring Montana colleges and universities 
to develop procedures to protect a student's right to privacy." 

2. "Bill, go to the Clerk (of the House of Representatives). 

Clerk: "You are House Bill No. 502 introduced by Representatives Kimble, Tier- 
ney, Murphy, Bennetts and Bradley — an act requiring Montana colleges 
and universities to develop procedures to protect a student's right to 

3. "Bill, go to the House Education Committee where you were assigned by the 
Speaker. " 

4. 'Bill, now you are printed on yellow paper for Second Reading and go to the 

House of Representatives fordebate and possible amendment. You passed Second 

5. "Bill, you can now go off to be engrossed — that is, printed on blue paper in 

final form with amendments. " 

6. 'Now, Bill, go back to the House of Representatives for Third Reading. You passed 
Third Reading." 

7. "Sponsor, will you take the Bill to the President of the Senate?" 

Sponsor: "Mr. President, this is House Bill No. 502. " 

8. "The President of the Senate assigned you to the Senate Judiciary Committee." 


A. Have an explanation of the essence of House Bill 502, using copies of the "Introduced 

B. Give the testifiers "for" and "against," the lobbyists "for" and "against," and the 
"Letters ' and "Telephone Calls" a chance to get together to plan their arguments 
on the Bill. 

C. Conduct a hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee. Provide new signs for 
the participants. These signs will include one for each Committee member, a Commit- 
tee Secretary, the Committee chairman and the Committee vice-chairman. 

Committee Chairman 





of the 





Arrange the committee room with a long table in the 
middleofthe room with chairs around it for the committee 
members to be seated. Provide chairs placed along the 
walls of the room for the testifiers, lobbyists and obser- 

The person role-playing the chairman will call the com- 
mittee meeting to order, and the committee secretary 
will call the roll. 

1. The chairman asks the "Sponsor ofthe Bill' to address 
the committee by introducing his bill with a concise 
summary of its essence. 

2. The testifiers and lobbyists "for" the Bill will give their 
arguments to the committee followed by the testifiers 
and lobbyists "against" the Bill. 

3. The chairman then asks if the sponsor would like 
to close by clarifying any points and giving rebuttal 
if he wishes. 

4. The chairman now allows the committee members 
to ask questions of any testifiers, lobbyists or the Bill's 

5. After the questioning, the chairman can ask the com- 
mittee to take action on the bill — usually a vote is 
taken to determine whether or not the bill should be 
given a 'do pass" recommendation. 

'6. The Bill receives a "do pass" recommendation after 

the committee adds some amendments. 
7. The Committee Chairman adjourns the meeting. 

For more detailed information on a committee hearing 
procedure, refer to the section "The Committee System." 

'Bill, you came out of the Senate Judiciary Committee with several amendments 
which were printed on pink paper. With these amendments, you went to the 
Senate for Second Reading and passed . On March 1 st, you passed Third Reading 
in the Senate with a vote of 40 to 7. 

Bill, now go to the House of Representatives where that body concurred in the 
Senate amendments." 

'Bill, will you go to the Speaker of the House to be signed? " (The Speaker of 
the House signs the Bill.) 

'Now Bill, go to the President of the Senate for signature. " (The President of 
the Senate signs the Bill.) 

'Next Bill, go to the Governor for his signature. " (After studying the Bill, the Gover- 
nor signs it into law.) 

'Finally Bill, go to the Secretary of State for filing." (The final copy of the Bill 
with its history of passage is kept on file in the Secretary of State's Office.) 

sources of information 


A. Copies of Legislative Bills 

1. During the Legislative Session: in tlie basement of the Capitol Building at the Mail 
Room for a small fee. 

2. After a Legislative Session, bills that are passed and signed into law: 

At the Secretary of State's Office at a cost of approximately 50 cents a page. 
At your local County Clerk and Recorder's Office which receives bills of general 
interest and that directly affect counties. 

3. Held over bills and killed legislation, from the Legislative Council or the Secretary 
of the Senate or the Chief Clerk of the House. 

B. Lists of Lobbyists 

1. During the Legislative Session: lists of lobbyists and whom they represent are 
posted daily by the Chief Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate. 

2. After a Legislative Session: alphabetical lists of all registered lobbyists and whom 
they represented can be obtained from the Secretary of State's Office in the Capitol. 

3. Copies of the Lobbyist Registration and Licensing Law for Montana also can be 
obtained from the Secretary of State's Office. 

C. Voting Records 

1. During the Legislative Session, request copies of the vote on a certain bill at the 
Offices of the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate. 

2. Between Legislative Sessions: contact the Legislative Council, the Secretary of the 
Senate or the Chief Clerk of the House, located in the Capitol Building. 

3. At the end of each Legislative Session, the Journals of both the House of Representa- 
tives and the Senate are compiled into bound volumes — one for each house — 
along with a bound Index. These volumes contain the voting records of that Session. 
Copies of these volumes are sent to each local County Clerk and Recorder's Office 
and can be used by the public. 

LOCAL COUNTY CLERK AND RECORDER'S OFFICES are supplied with this legislative infor- 
mation that is available to the public for use: 

1. Copies of both introduced and enacted legislative bills that are of general interest 
to the public and of particular interest to counties. 

2. Copies of bound volumes of each houses' Journal for each session which include 
voting records. 

3. Copies of bound volumes of each Legislature's Session Laws. 

4. Copies of bound volumes of the Revised Codes of the State of Montana. 

THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF MONTANA have numerous booklets and information 
on the Legislature, State Government and other political areas. Write: 

The League of Women Voters 

6630 Siesta Drive 

Missoula, Montana 59801 

LEGISLATIVE DIRECTORIES are available during Legislative Assemblies through the compli- 
ments of various companies. The following were available during the 1973-1974 Assembly. 

1 . Montana Directory - compliments of the Mountain Bell Telephone Company. Included 
such information as a list of the Capitol phone numbers. Standing Committee member- 
ships, addresses and occupations of the Legislators and so on. 

2. A Guide to IVIontana's 43rd Legislative Assembly - compliments of Montana's Rural 
Electrics. Included photographs of all personnel and Legislators, floor plan of the 
Capitol, seating charts for both houses and so on. 

3. Lawmakers of Montana - compliments of The Anaconda Company. Includes a 
pictorial-biographical reference of those chosen to serve during a specific Legislature. 


COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE : refers to the total membership of the House of Representatives 
or the Senate when the individual house has convened for the day and is in a business 
session to consider proposed legislation on Second Reading. 

ENGROSSED: the bill is between Second and Third Reading. The bill is rechecked and put 
into final form including all amendments. 

ENROLLING: the bill has passed both houses and is on its way to the Governor for final 

MB: is an abbreviation for House Bill, for example HB-234. 

PRINTING: the bill has come out of its assigned Committee and will be heard on Second 

SB: is an abbreviation for Senate Bill, for example SB-135. 

RESOLUTIONS: legislation used to express the opinion of a legislative body or to make a 

A. Simple Resolution: a formalized motion passed by one house to amend the rules 
of that house or to express the desire or sympathy of that house. 

B. Joint Resolution: must be adopted by both houses of the Legislature and is filed 
with the Secretary of Sate. 

1. Used to express desire, opinion, sympathy or; 

2. To request amendments of the Legislature's Joint Rules, or; 

3. To ratify or propose amendments to the United States Constitution. 

4. Are treated like bills 

5. Become effective immediately upon passage. 

6. If a joint resolution goes beyond the scope of 1-3 above, then it must be signed 
by the Governor.