HELENA - Legislative hearings on a topics as varied as banning cell phone use on certain highways to eliminating daylight saving time will be heard by committees next week.
Here are some of them, by topics:
• American Indian holiday. The Senate State Administration Committee will hear Senate Bill 196 by Sen. Jonathan Windy Boy, D-Box Elder. The bill is a proposed constitutional amendment to make Sept. 30 a state holiday honoring Indian heritage. The hearing is at 3 p.m. Monday in Room 335.
• Bed tax. The Senate Business and Labor Committee on Thursday will conduct a hearing on SB190 by Sen. Bob Hawks, D-Bozeman, to raise the state hotel and motel bed tax to 5 percent from the current 4 percent. The hearing is at 9 a.m. in Room 422.
• Cattle theft. The Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday hears SB214, by Sen. Don Steinbeisser, R-Sidney, to increase penalties for cattle theft. It's at 3 p.m. in Room 335.
• Cell phones. The House Transportation Committee on Wednesday takes comments on House Bill 49, by Rep. Bob Lake, R-Hamilton, to forbid drivers from using cell phones or text-sending devices on certain roads and highways. It's at 3 p.m. in Room 455.
• Daylight saving time. SB177 by Sen. Terry Murphy, R-Cardwell, would establish standard time as Montana's official time and dump daylight saving time. The hearing is before the Senate State Administration Committee at 3 p.m. Wednesday in Room 335.
• Hate crimes. On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider SB223 by Sen. Carol Juneau, D-Browning, to add sexual orientation and disabilities to the list protected from malicious intimidation or harassment by Montana's hate crimes law. The hearing is at 9 a.m. in Room 303.
• Hearing aids. The Senate Public Health Committee on Monday considers SB53 by Sen. Dave Lewis, R-Helena, to extend the trial period for hearing aids bought from traveling vendors. The hearing is at 3 p.m. in Room 317A.
• Hunting and fishing. On Tuesday, the House Fish, Wildlife and Parks Committee takes up HB221 by Rep. Jill Cohenour, D-East Helena, to revoke a person's hunting and fishing privileges until all fines are paid. It's at 3 p.m. in Room 222.
• Insurance credit scoring. The Senate Business and Labor Committee on Wednesday hears SB195 by Windy Boy to ban credit scoring on insurance. Such occurs when car insurers refuse to insure an individual based on knowledge of his credit history. The hearing is at 9 a.m. in Room 422.
• Judges. On Monday, the Senate Judiciary Committee takes up SB158 by Sen. Greg Barkus, R-Kalispell, to increase the number of district judges in certain districts. The hearing is 9 a.m. Monday in Room 303.
• License plates. The Senate Highways Committee on Tuesday hears SB203 by Sen. Jim Shockley, R-Victor, to eliminate the requirement in state law that license plates be replaced periodically. The hearing is at 3 p.m. in Room 405.
• Medical marijuana. The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday will take testimony on SB212 by Sen. Verdell Jackson, R-Kalispell, to revoke people's medical marijuana registration of they violate the limitations in the law. The hearing is at 9 a.m. in Room 422. On Wednesday, the House Human Services Committee hears HB73 by Rep, Julie French, D-Scobey, to expand the types of health care providers who may certify that a patient would benefit from medical marijuana. Her bill will be heard at 3 p.m. in Room 152.
• Military benefits. The House Taxation Committee on Monday hears HB28 by Rep. Pat Ingraham, R-Thompson Falls, and HB206 by Rep. Harry Klock, R-Harlowton, to exempt military pensions and military salaries, respectively, from state income taxes. The hearing is at 8 a.m. in Room 152.
• Passenger railroad service. On Friday, the Senate Local Government Committee plans a hearing on SB166 by Lewis to allow the Board of Investments to make low-interest coal-tax trust fund loans to local governments to develop the infrastructure necessary to expand rail passenger service. It's at 3 p.m. in Room 405.
• Political party registration. Two bills are scheduled for voters to register by party. Montana currently doesn't require voters to register by party. SB186 by Sen. Joe Balyeat, R-Bozeman, would make it voluntary for people to register by party. His bill will be heard by the Senate State Administration Committee at 3 p.m. Monday in Room 335. On Thursday, the House State Administration will take up HB248 by Rep. Ken Peterson, R-Billings, to require voters to register by political party. The hearing is at 8 a.m. in Room 455.
• Term limits. The House State Administration on Wednesday will seek comments on HB174, a proposed constitutional amendment by Rep. Ray Hawk, R-Florence, to revise term limits for legislators so they can serve a total of 16 years, counting service in both chambers. At present, legislators can serve a maximum of eight years in one house and then eight in the other and continue the cycle. It will be at 8 a.m. in Room 455.
• Wildlife feeding. The Senate Fish and Game Committee on Tuesday will take comments on SB202 by Sen. Greg Hinkle, R-Thompson Falls, to add mountain lions and ungulates such as deer and elk to the list of animals that people are prohibited from feeding. It's at 3 p.m. in Room 422.