Montana Interim committee votes down motion to access funds in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act

Montana State Legislature

An interim legislative committee rejected a proposal on Monday to appoint one Democrat and one Republican to draft a bill outlining how the state could access newly announced federal funds allocated to address gun violence and mental health in schools.

Democrats said Montanans needed to take action given the severity of gun violence in the country, but Republicans said the committee already was working on many bill drafts and could not accommodate the request this late.

Plus, the vice chairman noted legislators would have the chance to take up the issue again come the 2023 legislative session if the act passed muster.

“I think this is federal government overreach at its best. And I don’t think that this is appropriate … at this late date for us to try and cram this in there,” said Rep. Dennis Lenz, R-Billings, the committee vice chair. “And … if there is something that doesn’t stink to high heaven in here, we’ll have time to process that before the session in January.”


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