Lawmakers and lobbyists walk through the state capitol

Lawmakers and lobbyists walk through the state capitol during the 68th Montana Legislature on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023 in the state capitol.

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A former GOP lawmaker backing changes to Montana’s citizen-led ballot initiative process likened new requirements added in 2021 to illegal “barnacles on a ship,” and said it helped special interest groups who torpedoed his attempt to slash property taxes last year.

“I’m politely warning the committee that if HB 651 is not repealed, there will be multiple lawsuits,” Matthew Monforton warned the Senate State Administration Committee on Monday. “You will lose them, and you will deserve to lose them.”

The Bozeman attorney was referring to the 2021 law adding new steps in the process to get a citizen initiative qualified to appear on the ballot.


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