Montana House Speaker: Death Penalty Ban Has a Chance

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – House Speaker Bob Bergren says there are a few big policy initiatives that could pass a legislative session that has seen many proposals die amid tight partisan margins and budget worries.

The Havre Democrat says a proposed death penalty ban that has cleared the Senate for the second time could get out of the House that killed it in 2007. Bergren also says he expects enough Democrats will join Republicans to push through some GOP efforts to spur energy development.

Many large policy initiatives have stalled this session.

Bergren says part of the reason is a very tight budget with no room for pricey proposals. He also cited split the 50-50 split in the House.

Bergren says that has prompted many lawmakers to not even bother proposing some ideas.

The Legislature reaches its midpoint next week.

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