Montana’s full House of Representatives have passed House Bill 669 through its second reading.
Filed by State Representative Bill Mercer, House Bill 669 passed the House in its second reading 65 to 35, just a few days after it passed the Appropriations Committee 15 to 8. It will now need to pass through a 3rd and final reading in the House before it can be sent to the Senate.
The proposal would redirect marijuana tax revenue away from items like wildlife habitat, state parks and trails and recreational facilities, and would instead put all revenue into the state’s General Fund.
Under the marijuana legalization initiative approved by voters in November, 2020, $6 million of the state’s marijuana tax revenue is put aside for the HEART account (to help combat drug addiction), with the rest being distributed as follows:
- 20% to the credit of the department of fish, wildlife and parks for wildlife habitat
- 4% to the state park account
- 4% to the trails and recreational facilities account
- 4% to the nongame wildlife account
- 3% or $200,000, which is less, to the veterans and surviving spouses state special revenue account
- $150,000 to the board of crime control
House Bill 669 would later this so that after the $6 million is put aside for HEART account, all remaining funds would go to the General Fund. The General Fund is controlled by the state legislature, meaning this would give lawmakers more control over how marijuana tax revenue is distributed.
The text of House Bill 669 can be found if you click here.