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Montana lawmakers to limit governor’s authority

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Town Crier “Briefs from the Region” (2) – 1/18/21

Last Tuesday, Montana lawmakers listened to testimony that supported House Bill 122, a bill that would limit the powers of the governor when a state of emergency is in place. While the bill still allows the governor to take immediate action when time is prudent, it would limit that declaration of emergency to 30 days. The Montana Legislative Council would then meet to decide if a special session is necessary and could even vote to terminate the state of emergency. Gov. Steve Bullock’s declared state of emergency for COVID-19 has lasted 10 months due to the fact that President Trump, too, declared a national emergency. The new bill would allow the Legislative Council to remove a state of emergency even if the nation were still under a presidentially issued national emergency. There are so far no opponent testimonies to HB 122.

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