66th Montana Legislature Opened Monday

HELENA, Mont. (NMB) – The 66th Montana Legislature officially convened Monday with lawmakers casting their first vote of the 90-day session on a temporary rules measure.

Tim Pierce with the UM Legislative News Service reports Republicans control both the House and the Senate. The GOP has been split on a rules change that could affect how larger issues, including Medicaid expansion, will move through the legislative process. The House on Monday voted to adopt temporary rules but the changes will be debated this week in committees.

Republican Secretary of State Corey Stapleton encouraged unity among legislators.

“Friendships are the cartilage for the legislative body, Make some friendships with your opponents.”

Democratic Representative Casey Schreiner of Great Falls also called for cooperation, particularly on Medicaid expansion and infrastructure.

“The people of Montana, they deserve people that want to lead with solutions.”

So far, more than 3,000 bills have been drafted for debate.

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