Bill to help missing persons investigations lacks funding

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — State officials say a bill that was intended to help missing persons investigations in Montana is now toothless after lawmakers stripped funding and other requirements.
State Department of Justice Government Affairs Director Liz Bangerter told a Senate committee Monday that the bill “really doesn’t do anything” after lawmakers amended it.
Lee Newspapers of Montana report that lawmakers removed funding for a specialist to coordinate among local, state, federal and tribal law enforcement agencies on missing persons cases.
They also changed language to give the state Department of Justice the option of hiring the specialist, instead of making it a requirement.
The bill, called Hanna’s Act, is named for a 21-year-old Native American woman who was reported missing and later found dead on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in July 2013.

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