Speak Up for Clean Water!
We’ve been tracking things closely during the 2023 Montana Legislative Session to ensure proposed legislation protects clean water and does not harm the watershed. We need your voice to help speak up for Montana’s rivers and streams!
The best defense for clean water is YOU. Please join our Water Watchdog team and speak up for clean and healthy rivers during the 2023 Montana Legislative Session!
Legislative Session Dashboard Track bills, look up legislators, register to testify, and more
Montana Environmental Information Center A non-partisan, non-profit environmental advocate dedicated to ensuring clean air and water for Montana’s future generations. Includes a bill tracker and weekly videos.
Montana Free Press Bill Tracker Nonprofit, local journalism with a focus on Montana legislature and bill tracker
CONTACT YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS
Find your specific legislators’ contact information
Map of your legislators by district
SCRIPTS AND TIPS
Make a Phone Call
- Hi, my name is ____ and my zip code is____. I’m calling today about bill#____ and I’d like to urge you to support/ oppose bill # ___ because___. Thank you for your time.”
Send an Email
- Use the same template as the phone call script above.
- To testify remotely, you must register on the legislative services website by 5 p.m. the day before the hearing.
- If testifying via Zoom, you cannot share your video feed, committee members will hear your voice only. You will raise your hand to signal you are ready to testify.
- We recommend submitting a written copy of your testimony because even if you zoom in, technology can fail, and they will then use your written testimony instead.
- Introduce yourself and provide the spelling of your last name.
- Refer to the bill by its name and number
- Make your comment personal and specific.
- Include your name, address, and a little about who you are (for example, where you work or what school you attend).
- Let them know if you live in or near their district and are their constituent.
- 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.
- Keep your comment brief and to the point.
- Be civil and professional—a thank you goes a long way.
BEST TIMES TO SPEAK UP
- While bills are in committee hearings:
- Testify at a hearing : https://leg.mt.gov/public-testimony/
- Submit written testimony: https://leg.mt.gov/public-testimony/
- Contact the committee: https://leg.mt.gov/web-messaging/ or call 406.444.4800 (for up to 5 legislators or 1 legislative committee).
- The number listed is the information desk. You can leave a message with the person you speak with and they will print off your message and give it to the legislators page for delivery. The information desk prints all messages at 7:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and 2:30 p.m. Sometimes messages can take up to two hours to print, so keep that in mind if you go this route.
- Ahead of reading on the floor:
- Contact your legislator directly : https://leg.mt.gov/legislator-lookup/
Don’t forget, there is always room to influence the public narrative.
- Committees can be confusing, and they are a big part of how bills get selected for a vote. Information on the 2023 legislative standing committees
- List of all House of Representative committee members and times they meet
- List of all Senate committee members and times they meet
The 2023 legislative session runs until May 5. We will continue to need your help protecting clean water. Check back at this page or become a Water Watchdog for the latest information and action opportunities. Thank you!
SB 261: Restrict public input on water right changes and new water permits – CFC OPPOSES
Senate Bill 261 raises significant concerns about the ability of Montanans to defend their interests when faced with a proposed new use of water or a change to an existing water right. If passed, SB 261 would drastically limit who has standing to object to a proposed water permit or water right change.
TAKE ACTION: A nearly identical bill was introduced during the 2021 legislative session and was rightfully tabled in committee. Please contact the members of the Senate Natural Resources Committee and let them know this bill should be tabled as well!