Hanna’s Act, or House Bill 21, has passed both chambers of the Montana legislature and is on its way to the Governor’s desk.
On Tuesday, the Montana State House of Representatives passed Hanna’s Act with Senate amendments by a vote of 96 to 1 with three members not voting.
Hanna’s Act was created to address the missing and murdered Indigenous women crisis in Montana. The bill is named after Hanna Harris, a Lame Deer woman found murdered on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in 2013.
Once signed by Governor Steve Bullock, the legislation will create a special position in the Montana Department of Justice to investigate all missing persons cases in the state.
The specialist will be responsible for managing the state missing person database and working with state, local, federal and tribal officials on those cases.
Bullock praised the passing of Hanna’s Act.
“I’m extremely pleased that Hanna’s Act is headed to my desk for signature. The missing and murdered Indigenous women epidemic is a crisis in Montana and throughout the country, and it’s long past due elected officials do what is right and seek justice for Native women, their families, and their communities,” said Bullock.
-Reported by John Riley/MTN News