Bipartisan Support for Annual Legislative Sessions

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – Lawmakers are considering a proposal to hold legislative sessions every year, but for shorter periods of times.

The Montana Constitution currently lets lawmakers convene in odd-numbered years for up to 90 days.

Leading legislators said Monday in a committee that it makes more sense to hold a shorter session in odd-numbered years to deal just with the budget. An even shorter session would be held the next year for general lawmaking.

The total number of days allowed over the two-year period would be decreased from 90 days to 80 days.

The proposal needs 100 out of 150 votes in the Legislature in order to ask voters in 2012 to change the Constitution.

A similar proposal in the House aims to spread the 90-day session over two years without changing the constitution.

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