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New Section.  Section 1.  Declaration of Policy.  The legislature declares as a matter of public policy that no part of the funds it appropriates or authorizes the state or any of its political subdivisions to appropriate is intended to be used to influence creation of public policy by the legislature, to lobby the legislature, or to pay for the time or resources used by public employees to exhort the legislature to support or oppose any bills or pending policies.  Nothing herein may be construed to restrict the rights or actions of persons who may be public employees, but who are not acting during their employment, or who are not working on publicly paid or publicly compensated time, and who are acting strictly as private persons.

New Section.  Section 2.  Restrictions on use of public employee time.  Except as provided in [Exceptions below], no public employee may appear before any committee of the legislature, attend any hearings of the legislature, converse with one or more legislators about issues pending before the legislature, loiter in the halls or lobbies of the legislature, or send electronic or written messages to any member or members of the legislature, during any time while they are on the payroll of the state or any of its political subdivisions, or during any time for which they are to be compensated by the state or any of its political subdivisions.

New Section.  Section 3.  Restrictions on public employee use of public resources.  Except as provided in [Exceptions below], no public employee may utilize any public resources, including copied or printed materials, electronic, computerized or telephonic equipment or messages, publicly paid transportation, or other publicly-owned resources, in regards to commenting upon or attempting to influence the outcome of any matters, bills, resolutions, or issues pending before the legislature.

New Section.  Section 4.   Exceptions.  The provisions of [this act] do not apply to:
(1) Employees of the legislature, or
(2) The director and perennial staff of the governor's budget office, when preparing or providing fiscal notes for bills, or when presenting testimony to legislative committees about fiscal issues, or
(3) Persons elected to public office, or
(4) Public employees on leave of absence from their jobs, as long as such employees do not hold themselves out to be acting as public employees, or
(5)  Any public employee who is requested by an individual legislator to appear before the legislature to provide information to the legislature, as long as the following conditions are met:
    (a) the employee has an request in writing, in advance, from a legislator requesting the employee to attend the legislature and provide information, and
    (b) the written request is for specified information and for a specified date and time, and
    (c) a copy of the request is submitted to any committee before which the employee testifies, upon submission of verbal or written testimony, and
    (d) a copy of the request is submitted to and remains on file with, the clerk of the house if the requester is elected to the house, or with the secretary of the senate if the requester is elected to the senate, which files must be publicly viewable at any reasonable hours.

New Section. Section 5.  Legislative regulation of information requests by legislators.  The senate and the house of representatives may further regulate the  terms and conditions whereby individual members of their respective body may issue written requests for public employees to attend the legislature and provide information, including limitation of the number of times or frequency with which members may issue written requests for information.

New Section.  Section 6.  Enforcement -- penalties.  (1)  Any public employee who violates the terms of [this act] exceeds the authority of his or her employment and may be prosecuted for official misconduct under 45-7-401, M.C.A., or for theft of public resources under 45-6-301, M.C.A., is subject to recall under the provisions of 2-16-603, M.C.A., and shall be deemed to have satisfied the basis for recall as specified in 2-16-603(3), M.C.A.
(2)  Any person convicted of an offense resulting from violation of the terms of [this act] shall suffer forfeiture of office and employment for cause in addition to any other penalties levied.
(3)  Upon written request from the president of the senate, or from the speaker of the house of representatives, or from any ten elected legislators, the county attorney of Lewis and Clark county, or the county attorney of the place of employment of the accused public employee, must bring a prosecution against an accused public employee when requested to do so under the terms of [this act].  If the county attorney fails to bring such prosecution in a timely manner, either the senate or the house of representatives may, upon vote of a majority of its members then voting, engage a special prosecutor, from among legislative staff or otherwise, to bring such prosecution.

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