Montana Catholic Conference

About our State Legislature

Montana's Legislature meets every two years, convening only on the odd numbered years. The Legislature is composed of a 100 member House of Representatives and a 50 member Senate. Members of the House serve two year terms and may serve four 2-year concurrent terms. Senators serve four year terms and are limited to two 4-year consecutive terms.

The State Constitution mandates that the legislative session last no more than 90 days. If the work of the Legislature is not finished within the 90 day period, a special session may be convened. The Constitution mandates that the primary responsibility of Montana's Legislature is to pass a balanced biennial budget to be approved by the Governor.


Marriage Amendment Challenge

In January 2012, Montana Catholic Conference, on behalf of the Roman Catholic Bishops of Montana and a number of other Christian Churches throughout Montana, filed an Amicus Curiae Brief asking the Supreme Court to uphold the legal definition of marriage as defined by the Constitutional Marriage Amendment.  The Amendment is being challenged by six same-sex couples who are seeking the right to all that marriage provides, including benefits that are currently legally reserved for those who are married as defined in the Amendment. On December 17, 2012, in a 4-3  decision, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of those asking the Court to uphold the legal definition of marriage.  However, as Judge McGrath wrote in the Decision, "It is this Court's opinion that Plaintiffs should be given the opportunity, if they choose to take it, to amend their complaint and to refine and specify the general constitutional challenges they have proferred."  The text of both the Amicus Curiae Brief and the Court's Decision are available by clicking on the name of the document you wish to read.

"Freedom consists not in doing what we like,
but in having the right to do what we ought."
Blessed John Paul II