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Contacting Legislators

There are two good times for writing or calling state legislators:
a. The day the bill has its hearing and in the time before the vote (executive action) usually a couple days later (except during crunch times).
b. If the bill makes it out of committee and up for a floor vote of the House or Senate. There are 2 votes on one bill a day or so apart (Second and Third Reading), and usually they don’t change after the first vote, unless they hear from you!

Legislators always listen to their own constituents the most, but it is still a good idea to contact other members of the committee or legislative body, especially if an advocate for your issue has identified swing votes for you. However, passing information on to people who live in other parts of the state whose legislators have key votes, and asking them to contact the legislator, can be very effective.

Contact you legislator
1. Google mt leg

2. Click Find a legislator. If you don’t know your legislator, they have a locator map. If you do know, there’s an alphabetical list.

3. If the bill is in a hearing, find out which committee, and who is on the committee.

4. Find the bill, number and way you want to vote.*

5. You can submit a comment on the online message form It has automatic fill for name and address, so after a few, it goes pretty quickly. You can copy and paste the message. Don’t forget to click “send message”. Messages are delivered several times a day.

6. By Telephone: The Legislative Information Desk number is (406) 444-4800. It operates only during regular office hours during the session: 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to adjournment on Saturdays. Callers may leave messages for up to 5 individual legislators or 1 legislative committee per call. Messages are delivered several times a day.

7. By Personal legislator email: There are legislator emails listed in the MT Legislative Guide available at the Capitol when you walk in or on their legislator page. They may check them frequently, or may not check them, but you have more space to comment. I included the Senate Natural Resources Committee members’ emails at the bottom of this email.
*The easiest way I’ve found to find a bill is by the sponsor or the number. Go to the sponsor’s page and scroll down and click on the bill to see its progress. There is an art to finding the text of the bill (for the next tutorial, but I have gone to Bad!)

When a bill has a hearing, it is good to find out which committee is hearing it, and who is on that committee.

General Rules for Comments: In person, written, or spoken (from the mt.leg website)
• Be brief. Legislators have many demands on their time. They appreciate comments that are short and to the point.
• Put the message in your own words. Form letters and petitions don’t have the same impact as personal, informed opinions.
• Address your letter to a specific legislator or legislators. Depending on your message, you may want to write to the sponsor of a bill, certain members of a committee, or your own legislators. Don’t address your letter to the entire Legislature.
• Identify bills by their number, title, and sponsor.
• Explain your position on the bill and ask for the legislator’s support or opposition.
• Give any sources of information that you use to make your point.
• Include your name, address, and a little about who you are (for example, where you work or what school you attend)

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
Bike4Climate Sign for Riders August 29, 2016 1:17 PM Kristen W.
Carbon Fee and 100% Rebate Top Ten List October 3, 2014 4:50 PM Kristen W.
REMI Report: Jobs AND 33% Reduction of CO2 June 11, 2014 9:49 AM Kristen W.
Carbon Tax and the Social Cost of Carbon January 26, 2014 8:11 AM Kristen W.
President's Climate Action Plan June 2013 July 31, 2013 8:16 AM Kristen W.
Science versus the Scientist June 11, 2013 10:32 PM Kristen W.
Renewables within 20 years June 11, 2013 10:29 PM Kristen W.
Basic Climate Science June 11, 2013 10:27 PM Kristen W.
Elevator speech for Fee and Dividend June 11, 2013 10:25 PM Kristen W.
Coall Train Facts August 29, 2016 7:41 AM Kristen W.
Green Schools Study Resolution SJ 29 April 6, 2013 1:31 PM Kristen W.
Contacting Legislators August 29, 2016 7:42 AM Kristen W.

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