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Videoconferences offer opportunity to visit with Montana lawmakers

Jackie Yamanaka

People in the Billings area will have the opportunity to visit with local lawmakers in Helena through legislative videoconference sessions hosted by the Billings Chamber of Commerce and Montana State University Billings.

Dan Brooks is the business advocacy director for the Chamber. He says with a record number of proposed changes to Montana law this session, citizen participation and engagement will be critical, especially for the business community.

“A lot of our small businesses can't just take a day or two to head up to Helena," Brooks said. "So this offers a little convenience and a little bit of an ability for people to give feedback, and have some face-to-face with our legislative delegation.”

Brooks says each conference will try to have a theme that aligns with the bills coming up so participants can have a focused discussion.

But we also want to give our legislators a chance to talk about the things that they're working on, and that they think our local residents should be aware of," he said. "Then kind of the second half of the meeting is really to offer an opportunity for our local folks to give some feedback for bills that have been heard already or that are coming up. Just give them a chance to talk to their legislators.”

The first session is Wednesday, Jan.19, from noon to 1 p.m.. There is no charge for the videoconferencing, but registration is required at the Billings Chamber of Commerce website.

Orlinda Worthington hosts “Morning Edition” weekdays on YPR. She brings 20 years of experience as Montana television news anchor, producer, and reporter.