Proposal for Annual Sessions Draws one Supporter

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – A committee of the Montana Legislature is considering a proposal that legislative sessions occur annually, rather than every other year, a change that requires amending the state constitution.

The prospect of annual sessions drew only one supporter at a hearing Monday by the Senate State Administration Committee.

The proposal by Republican Sen. Jeff Essmann of Billings would have the Legislature holding 30-day sessions in odd-numbered years, to work only on state budget and tax issues. In even-numbered years, legislators would hold 45-day sessions devoted to general business.

Putting the proposal on the state ballot requires support by at least 100 of Montana’s 150 legislators.

Essmann says his plan offers efficiency. The lone supporter Monday represented the Montana Chamber of Commerce.

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