Montana considers bills to address missing Native women
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana lawmakers are considering legislation meant to address what officials call the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women.
The Great Falls Tribune reports that supporters of the bills testified for hours before a legislative panel on Wednesday then held a rally in the Capitol rotunda.
One measure would appropriate $100,000 a year to the state Department of Justice to hire a missing persons specialist who would work with local, state, federal and tribal law-enforcement authorities.
Members of the legislative Indian Caucus say that bill, called Hanna’s Act, would be the first step in ensuring that missing Native women don’t fall through the cracks of the legal system.
The bill sponsored by Democratic Rep. Rae Peppers of Lame Deer is in remembrance of Hanna Harris, a Lame Deer woman killed in 2013 on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.
Information from: Great Falls Tribune, http://www.greatfallstribune.com