Montana’s new GOP leaders set sights on abortion, gun rights, environmental regs

Montana’s new GOP leaders set sights on abortion, gun rights, environmental regs

With the governor’s office and an expanded legislative majority, Republicans will be in the driver’s seat for the 2021 Montana Legislature. Party leaders say they’re still honing their agenda. (Eliza Wiley/Montana Free Press) Last week, Montana voters gave the GOP unified control of state government, electing a Republican to the governor’s office for the first time in 16 years, Republican candidates to all statewide offices, and expanding GOP majorities in the state House and Senate. Even so, while at least one written policy agenda draft has been circulating in Republican circles, the party’s legislative leaders say they’re still working to define the priorities the party will bring to the Capitol when lawmakers meet this winter to craft a budget and debate changes to state law. “We’re very early in,” said Rep. Wylie Galt, R-Martinsdale, last session’s Speaker Pro Tem, who was re-elected Tuesday. “I think we’ve got a lot of just nuts and bolts to get through before we can really start crafting some hard policy stuff in which direction we want to go to in this first session.” According to uncertified vote counts from the Montana Secretary of State’s office, Republicans picked up nine legislative seats in the Montana House and one in the Montana Senate — enough to expand their majorities to 67 of 100 House seats and 31 of 50 Senate seats. Going into the 2021 session, the Republican majority in the House will be sufficient to override a governor’s veto or to pass measures that […]

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