MTPR

Montana Legislature

Montana capitol, Helena.
William Marcus

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Republican lawmakers failed to get enough support to call a special session to consider referenda to counter two proposed ballot initiatives.

the 2017 Rice Ridge Fire near Seeley Lake
Inciweb

The State’s fire fighting savings account started this month with the second lowest balance since it was created a decade ago.

There’s only about $4 million in the fund’s reserves for this fire season. That’s about a fifth of what the state needs to cover an average fire season bill.

Democratic Party Attorney Kevin Hamilton arguing a case challenging Green Party access to the ballot at the Lewis and Clark County courthouse Tuesday, April 24, 2018.
Corin Cates-Carney

A state district judge has ordered the Montana Green Party off November ballots.

Helena Judge James Reynolds ruled Monday night that around 80 signatures gathered in the petition to put the Green Party on the ballot shouldn’t have been counted.

A vote count released Monday morning on the proposed special session of the Montana Legislature shows the call is not possible without votes from both sides of the aisle.

Republicans are so divided on the proposed special session that it won’t happen without support from the Democratic minority.

Montana Senate President Scott Sales, left, and House Speaker Austin Knudsen, both Republicans, are on opposite sides of the call for a special session
Corin Cates-Carney


Montana lawmakers have a little less than two weeks to decide whether to come back to Helena for a special legislative session, potentially the second in eight months.

“It’s going to be a very heavy lift to get the 76 votes,” Senate President Scott Sales said.

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