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Montana politics, elections and legislative news.

Lawmakers are still unsure whether they'll call a special legislative session

Montana Legislature House chamber.
Nick Mott
/
Montana Public Radio
Montana Legislature House chamber.

Montana lawmakers’ push for a special session has lost steam after numerous roadblocks.

Republican lawmakers and Gov. Greg Gianforte agree that a special session is needed to redraw districts for the state’s utility oversight board, which have not been updated since 2003. However, a GOP faction was also pushing to create a special committee to investigate election integrity in the same trip to the Capitol. That effort appears to have failed. Rep. Derek Skees rescinded his request Friday for the special session and special committee, saying Republicans lacked consensus on the matter.

It remains unclear if Republicans can move forward with the single-issue session. In a statement Friday, Senate President Mark Blasdel and Speaker of the House Wiley Galt said the Public Service Commission redistricting issue will be resolved in a special session or the next regular legislative session.

A panel of three federal judges has indicated they’ll redraw the PSC districts if the Legislature does not convene a special session. The judges meet next on March 4.

Shaylee is Montana Public Radio's Capitol reporter. She previously worked for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and covered the 2019 legislative session for the University of Montana's Legislative News Service.