Lawmakers clap for House Speaker Wylie Galt (seated) as he is sworn in. (Arren Kimbel-Sannit/The Daily Montanan)
Political party leaders announced their priorities Monday at the start of the 2021 Montana Legislature.
In the Republican majority, legislators elected Mark Blasdel, R-Kalispell, as President of the Senate, and they named Wylie Galt, R-Martinsdale, Speaker of the House.
“Grocery store workers, law enforcement officers, our dedicated healthcare professionals, and so many other Montanans have shown up and done their jobs during the pandemic. We owe it to them to show up—whether in-person or virtually—and do our jobs, too,” said Blasdel in a statement. “Montanans deserve an effective legislative session, and that’s exactly what Republicans are committed to delivering.”
Democratic Minority Leaders Jill Cohenour and Kim Abbott released the following joint statement:
“This is a critical time for Montana families, and the stakes of this legislative session couldn’t be higher. Every single person in this state has felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are united in our efforts this session to create jobs and opportunity, and help Montanans come back stronger than ever.
“Our caucuses have decades of experience working across the aisle to pass legislation that expands economic opportunity for all Montanans, and we plan to build on those successes and overcome new, unprecedented obstacles in 2021. We hope that our colleagues on the other side of the aisle can find it within them to help conduct a session that is safe, predictable, and open to the kind of public participation Montanans have come to expect.”
In an email that also provided a link to a video of their news conference, Republican leaders said they are pursuing legislative policies under six banners:
- Protecting Montana’s checkbook by passing a balanced budget with no tax increases.
- Strengthening Montana’s economy by making the state a better place to live, work, and do business.
- Protecting rights and individual freedom by preserving the line separating personal freedom from government intrusion.
- Guarding Montana’s outdoor heritage by taking action to preserve the Big Sky for generations to come.
- Creating reliable healthcare options by building a stable healthcare system that Montanans can count on for the long-term.
- Providing education solutions for all Montana families by providing new educational options for students and parents to achieve individual success.
More information on the 2021 Legislative Session can be found at: https://leg.mt.gov/
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