Montana House Speaker Announces Deal on Rules

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – The incoming speaker of the state House says Democrats have made an agreement with Republicans for rules governing the split chamber.

The House will be tied 50-50 when it convenes in January. The chamber continues a trend of tight partisan margins, and is tied for the second time in four years.

But unlike 2005, when each party was able to push a certain number of deadlocked bills to the floor for a vote, no so-called “silver bullets” exist this time.

House Speaker-elect Bob Bergren says that is going to force Democrats and Republicans to work together.

Every committee has an equal number of Republicans and Democrats. However, Republicans will chair more of the Tier One committees — while Democrats will chair more of the key appropriations subcommittees.