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Missing Natives bill fails on tie vote in Senate committee

Posted at 3:51 PM, Mar 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-25 19:54:43-04

HELENA – House Bill 21, or Hanna’s Act, failed on a tie vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday.

The Senate committee voted 5-5.

The act would have provided for a new missing persons specialist at the Montana Department of Justice, who would work closely with local, state, federal and tribal law enforcement agencies on missing persons cases.

The specialist would also be responsible for managing the state’s missing persons database and organizing training for law enforcement authorities on how to handle missing persons cases.

The act was named after Hanna Harris, who was murdered on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in 2013.

Gov. Steve Bullock released a statement addressing Hanna’s Act’s failure:

“I’m deeply disappointed that some members of the legislature are failing to address a human rights crisis in Montana. We have a moral obligation to put fundamental policy in place to assist in the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women epidemic. I hope that Republicans in the Senate Judiciary Committee will do the right thing and reconsider supporting Hanna’s Act.”

Click here to read the detailed bill information about Hanna’s Act.