Economic Development Office Under Fire

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – A state lawmaker says the governor’s office of economic development needs more oversight.

Rep. Jana Taylor, a Republican from Polson, wants state Senate confirmation of office employees. Taylor says she has had issues with the role of the office ever since it was created under former Gov. Judy Martz.

Taylor says current law gives governors, including current Gov. Brian Schweitzer, wide latitude to hire whoever they want. She told a House committee that the employees earn top salaries and lawmakers should make sure they are qualified.

The governor’s office says it is important that the chief executive be allowed to freely assemble the economic development team he will rely on for important tasks.

No vote was taken Friday on House Bill 389.

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