Today at the Montana Legislature, Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl argued that state lawmakers need to fully fund his department or he won’t be able to prosecute politicians abusing the system.
Lawmakers are considering a cut of about $100,000 from the commissioner's proposed budget, including eliminating the prosecuting attorney.
“It takes away the only attorney in the state of Montana who is dedicated to enforcement of Montana’s Campaign Practice Act.”
One of the lawmakers proposing the cut, Republican Representative Ryan Osmundson, said legislators can still work on getting part-time attorneys, but he's wary of hiring a full-time employee in case they’re not needed in the future.
“Contracted services on the other hand, if the caseloads go down, we can end that contract.”
This is only one small part of the massive state budget under House Bill 2, and lawmakers are expected to vote on this part early next week.