AP NEWS

Montana bill to help missing persons investigations advances

March 29, 2019

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A stalled bill meant to help missing persons investigations in Montana has been revived.

The measure passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee Friday after it was amended to give the state Department of Justice the option of hiring a missing persons specialist, instead of making it a requirement.

The Independent Record reports the measure next goes to the Senate floor. The bill earlier passed the House on a 99-0 vote.

The bill, called Hanna’s Act, is named for a Native American woman who was reported missing before her body was found on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation.

The sponsor, Democratic Rep. Rae Peppers of Lame Deer, had asked the Senate to reconsider an earlier vote tabling the bill because the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women has devastated families and split communities.

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Information from: Independent Record, http://www.helenair.com