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Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission

The Session Week 18: What Happened During Montana’s 2021 Legislative Session?

May 3, 2021

The 67th session of the Montana Legislature adjourned sine die Thursday, April 29. During lawmakers’ 80 days of work, 1,313 bills were introduced and as of mid-day Friday at least 302 had been signed into law.

Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Fresh off Monday’s news that Montana’s gained a second U.S. House seat, Republican lawmakers Tuesday passed a proposal to give the Legislature more input on how the state is drawn into two districts. Opponents say the move is unconstitutional.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced Monday that Montana will gain a second seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Voters will get to elect the new congressperson in 2022. 

Montana added 95,000 more residents since 2010. The 10% increase was enough to give the state additional representation in Congress.

U.S. Capitol
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

The latest population estimates for Montana from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that the state is on track to gain another congressional seat. 

Population projections have shown the state growing in the direction of a second U.S. House seat for the past three years.

State officials are worried a new sped up federal deadline could jeopardize Montana’s chances of getting an accurate census total. The once a decade count has large implications for the Treasure State.

In April, the U.S. Census Bureau announced it would push the counting deadline back a month to Oct. 31 because the coronavirus pandemic had halted field operations across the U.S.

Monday, the bureau said counting will end Sept. 30 after all.