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Montana 2021 Legislature

Montana Democrats Announce Their Priorities For 2021 Legislative Session

Kim Abbott stands outside the Montana Capitol at a portable lectern.
Austin Amestoy
UM Legislative News Service
Montana House Minority Leader Kim Abbott speaks to the press on the Capitol steps January 5, 2021. She said Montana Democrats have had “good conversations” with Gov. Greg Gianforte and House and Senate Republicans regarding policy goals for the session.

Montana Democrats released their top legislative priorities for the 2021 legislative session on Tuesday. House Minority Leader Kim Abbott and other Democatic leaders presented their caucuses’ goals for policymaking over the next 90 days, although that did not include specific bill drafts.

“The bottom line for us is that we recognize after coming out of the last year, Montana working families have had a hard time," Abbott said. "And we are laser focused on making sure that we are creating economic opportunity and a situation where we’re creating good jobs.”

Their broad goals include protecting Medicaid expansion, the state subsidized health insurance program for low-income adults, and funding infrastructure projects. Both goals are holdovers from last session, when Democrats partnered with moderate Republicans and a Democratic governor to push those policies through the Legislature.

Now Republicans have a larger majority and a conservative in the governor’s office, meaning their power to pass or to vote down Democrats’ bills has grown.

Some Democratic proposals align with Republican goals, like expanding broadband access statewide and investing in career and technical training.